Just eight days before Abu Dhabi takes the global sporting spotlight with UFC 280: OLIVEIRA v MAKHACHEV, the UAE capital will host the second Mixed Martial Arts Youth Championship at Zayed Sports City’s Jiu-Jitsu Arena. Starting at 4pm this Friday, October 14, male and female fighters from the UAE will contest a multitude of divisions aiming to catch the eye and demonstrate a mixture of potential and proficiency.

The second round of the championship succeeds the well-attended first event that took place at the EtihadArenaonemonth ago.

The city is set to witness combat sports action as the annual and much-anticipated Abu Dhabi Showdown Week – complete with the headline title fight between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev – kicks off on Monday. Yet given the rapidly growing popularity of MMA in the Emirates, Friday’s youth event is likely to represent the perfect precursor, attracting a host of officials, MMA stars of past and present, and representatives from the international organisations that oversee it.

“This second MMA Youth Championship arrives in the city at the ideal time” said His Excellency Mohammed bin Dalmouj Al Dhaheri, Head of the UAE MMA Committee. “Abu Dhabi Showdown Week is around the corner and some of the sport’s most prominent names are coming to the capital, so this is the perfect precursor.”

Al Dhaheri, who was recently chosen as the Asian MMA Association’s First Vice-President, said as many as 30 potential MMA judges will also receive accreditation certificates from the International MMA Federation and the UAE MMA Federation during a special session that will be held in conjunction with the Abu Dhabi Showdown Week. Renowned UFC referee and IMMAF Director of Regulatory Affairs, Marc Goddard will oversee the session.

Elsewhere, Mohammed Al Hosani, Board Member of the UAE MMA Committee, added: “The second MMA Youth Championship is expected to feature 20 fights, including featured fights for each category. We have some interesting and surprising announcements to make in the next few days regarding the development of MMA in the country.”