The UFC’s inaugural event in Saudi Arabia was supposed to take place in March. After rumours that it had been postponed started circulating the promotion put out a press release earlier today to confirm the change of date.
UFC Fight Night 238 had been scheduled for March 23rd in Saudi Arabia. Ten fights were booked and none of them featured fighters who fans would regard as being big names.
Rumours started to circulate that the Saudi Arabian’s were unhappy with the calibre of the fight card. UFC president Dana White admitted that the event had to be pushed back in order to get some bigger fights lined up,
“Every time the UFC puts on an event, we want to blow the doors off the place, we want people to be excited, so as our first fight ever in Saudi Arabia, and a couple of fights that we want to line up, they weren’t ready to go, so we pushed the card back because we are going to deliver.”
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 🗓#BigTime#RiyadhSeason#برنامج_جودة_الحياة pic.twitter.com/kSR47XBEmz
— TURKI ALALSHIKH (@Turki_alalshikh) January 24, 2024
The UFC Fight Night 238 card will now be taking place at the Apex Centre instead. The likes of Mohammad Yahya and Abdul-Kareem Al-Selwady had clearly been handpicked to compete in the Middle East but will now find themselves fighting in Las Vegas instead.
The fact that the card has been moved to the Apex Centre could be seen as a tacit acknowledgement that it is not particularly strong. The UFC’s first event in Saudi Arabia will now be taking place on June 22nd.
White promised that the card he has in store for that date would be significantly stronger,
“This is just going to be a type of card that we’ve never done before, it’s going to be: every fight is a must see.”