UFC 269 Closes Out 2021 Pay-Per-View Schedule After Record Year of Profits for Company
21:09 GMT 10.12.2021 (Updated: 18:47 GMT 19.10.2022)
© CARMEN MANDATODustin Poirier is seen on stage during the UFC 269 press conference at MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 09, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
© CARMEN MANDATO
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) on Saturday evening will hold its final pay-per-view event of 2021, UFC 269: Oliveira vs. Poirier, after a record year of profits for the company, at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The event is the last pay-per-view scheduled by the mixed martial arts promotion for 2021 - a year in which the company reported the "best nine-month, year-to-date period in UFC history," according to a November statement from parent company Endeavor.
The card is headlined by a championship title bout in the promotion’s lightweight division between Brazil’s Charles Oliveira and the US’s Dustin Poirier. The fight will be Oliveria’s first title defense since obtaining the championship belt in May, over a decade after making his UFC debut.
Poirier, whose most recent two victories were over MMA superstar Conor McGregor, will attempt to take from Oliveira the undisputed lightweight title - something he has yet to hold in his own decade-long UFC career.
The event also features a second championship title bout between women’s Bantamweight Champion and #1 ranked pound-for-pound female fighter Amanda Nunes and Julianna Pena, who was the first woman to win a season of "The Ultimate Fighter." Their fight, which was previously scheduled for an event earlier this year, was moved to the co-main event of UFC 269 after Nunes tested positive for COVID-19.
The main card will be kicked off with a fight between bantamweights Sean O’Malley and Raulian Paiva, who both earned "fight of the night" bonus awards from the UFC in their most recent bouts. It will also feature bouts between flyweights Kai Kara-France and Cody Garbrandt, as well as welterweights Geoff Neal and Santiago Ponzinibbio.
The UFC remained active as a sporting promotion throughout the pandemic, having partnered with the government of the United Arab Emirates to hold live events on so-called "Fight Island" in Abu Dhabi, in addition to hosting events at their private facility in Las Vegas and other venues.
The UFC is going to hold events at locations where it is easy to do business and put on shows despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and that "are going to treat the fighters right, that are going to treat the fans right," UFC President Dana White said during a press conference on Thursday, when asked about holding more international events in 2022.
White tested positive for COVID-19 following the Thanksgiving holiday, but has since recovered after self-admittedly following the medical advice of fellow UFC employee Joe Rogan, who also fought the virus earlier this year.