Dana White alongside Jon Anik and Saudi Arabian Chairman of the General Entertainment Authority Turki Al-Sheikh Photo Credit: ABC

Saturday’s UFC event on ABC headlined by a middleweight contender fight between former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker and highly touted prospect Ikram Aliskerov marked a first for the company, as it was the first time that they have ever hosted an event in Saudi Arabia. And it sounds like this will be the first of many events in Saudi Arabia according to UFC President Dana White.

After the event concluded, White sat alongside UFC play-by-play commentator Jon Anik and Saudi Arabian Chairman of the General Entertainment Authority Turki Al-Sheikh to discuss how the fight night went.

Both White and Al-Sheikh seemingly loved how the event had gone, expressing interest in further future events in Saudi Arabia.

“Yeah, it was amazing,” said White. “Obviously, our first time in the kingdom and my first time here. It was a great experience. We’re looking forward to the next one.”

“First of all, I thank Dana (White), I am shocked,” said Al-Sheikh. “I know the UFC has a lot of fans. But you see, this is changing my mind now. 12,000 fans till 1 AM. Now I am asking Dana, for the next card we want 30,000 (fans).

 

Al-Sheikh also expressed that he wants women to be on the next fight card in Saudi Arabia. This is of course interesting because at one point, women wrestlers in the WWE were barred from wearing bodysuits due to the strict dress code for women in the country, amongst other women’s rights concerns going on within the country.

Jon Anik then asked Al-Sheikh and White for a timeline as to when the next UFC event could happen in Saudi Arabia. And it sounds like there are plans in place for a UFC event to come as early as the first quarter of 2025. White and Al-Sheikh also hinted that multiple Power Slap events are also coming to Saudi Arabia in 2025.

Al-Sheikh has certainly begun to make combat sports a fixture in the sports culture of Saudi Arabia. The country has hosted multiple big-name boxing cards recently as well, most recently a card headlined by a heavyweight title fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk last month.

Now that the UFC has had its first event in the country, the floodgates could certainly open to the point where we could see even more UFC events in Saudi Arabia for the foreseeable future.

[Awful Announcing on X]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.