UFC 294 is set for the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi on October 21st. Numerous matchups have been rumoured for this card but the first to be officially confirmed is a flyweight fight pitting Tim Elliott against Muhammad Mokaev.

Mokaev (10-0-0-1) was born in Dagestan but represents England having lived in the country since a young age. He is no stranger to competing in the Middle East, this will be his fourth fight in the region.

Before signing with the UFC he fought twice for Brave CF in Bahrain. Mokaev was also on the UFC 280 card in Abu Dhabi last year and scored a submission win over Malcolm Gordon that night.

In his most recent fight the Englishman scored a submission win over Jafel Filho at UFC 286. Mokaev is currently ranked #11 and will be looking to crack the top ten with another win in Abu Dhabi.


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Second chance

Elliot is currently ranked #10. He made his UFC debut in 2012 and was released by the promotion three years later but got a second chance to compete inside the octagon when he was selected for The Ultimate Fighter 24.

Elliot went on to defeat all four opponents, beating Hiromasa Ougikubo by unanimous decision in the final. His reward was a shot at the reigning UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.

In 2016 he challenged for the UFC flyweight title. Elliot dropped a decision to Johnson that night but has been on the UFC roster ever since and is coming off back to back decision wins.


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Big fights

Abu Dhabi first hosted a UFC card in 2010. But the country really established itself as a major destination for the promotion during the pandemic with multiple events taking place there in 2019 and 2020.

Among the fight cards to have been held at the Etihad Arena was UFC 257 in 2021. That was headlined by a featherweight rematch between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier and reportedly generated over 1.5 million pay per view sales.

The same venue also hosted Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement fight. He beat Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in an event that didn’t do quite as well at the box office but will go down in history none the less.

It remains to be seen whether any fights of this magnitude get booked for UFC 294. But a middleweight fight between Khamzat Chimaev and Paulo Costa is reportedly in the works.

UFC 294, Abu Dhabi, October 21st
Tim Elliott vs. Muhammad Mokaev (Flyweight)