Turki Alalshikh Announces UFC’s First Saudi Event

January 26, 2024
3 months
Turki Alalshikh Announces UFC's First Saudi Event

Turki Alalshikh has announced that Saudi Arabia will host its first-ever UFC event on June 22nd. 

The news came after the initial March 2nd date was pulled. Ariel Helwani indicated that the card failed to satisfy the Kingdom’s demands for a big event. This was after suggestions they paid a $20 million site fee. 

“I’m being told, via sources, that the planned March 2nd UFC event in Saudi Arabia is being postponed and the target is June. I was told that the reason for the postponement is because the powers that be in Saudi Arabia want a more entertaining fight card. They want a deeper fight card with bigger names on it, weren’t too pleased with what was being offered,” Helwani said 

UFC’s Postponement

The PFL chairman, Donn Davis, then claimed the PFL vs Bellator: Champs card on February 24, 2024, was a reason for the UFC’s postponed event. 

“I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the UFC March 2 card was cancelled the day before our fight [announcement]. Those who know MMA said, ‘That is not a mega-event. That is not worthy of being hosted in Saudi Arabia. That is a poor fight-quality card the UFC put forth on March 2.

“Could UFC load up a card and have a mega-card? They could. Do they do it that often? They don’t. We’re going to do it every time we do it, and so our partners who are host partners, like Saudi Arabia — our partners who are PPV partners like DAZN or ESPN+, they know they can count on us for these two fights a year, best of the best of the best. That’s how we’re thinking about it in terms of the business model going forward,” Davis revealed 

White Reacts

Dana White clarified those suggestions, claiming that a card was never proposed to Saudi Arabia. But since their planned fights would not have been ready in time, it made no sense to announce an event. 

“I know there’s been a lot of talk about the card wasn’t good enough. We never even proposed a card to them. We didn’t tell Saudi Arabia about one fight. So, that’s all bulls**t. We never even proposed a card to them. What we wanted to do is, every time the UFC puts on an event, we want to blow the doors off the place.

“We want people to be excited. So it was our first fight ever in Saudi Arabia, and a couple of fights that we wanted to line up, they weren’t ready to go. So, we pushed the card back because we’re going to deliver,” White stated 

Turki Alalshikh Responds

Turki Alalshikh Announces UFC's First Saudi Event
Credit outlookindia

Now, Turki Alalshikh’s announcement indicates those issues have been resolved. 

“Riyadh Season announced hosting the first UFC Fight Night in cooperation with the leading international organization in the field of mixed martial arts (MMA). It has been postponed to Saturday, June 22,” Turki Alalshikh revealed 

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