UFC Fight Island announced for four blockbuster dates in Abu Dhabi

UFC  and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) have announced the much-anticipated UFC Fight Island events will be held on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island.

UFC will produce four events on Yas Island, including one Pay Per View – UFC 251 – and three Fight Nights. The action-packed schedule begins with UFC 251 on Saturday, July 11, and will be followed with successive Fight Night events to be held on Wednesday, July 15; Saturday, July 18; and Saturday, July 25. Details for each event, including fight cards, will be announced in coming weeks.

Already confirmed are three spectacular title fights which were announced across social media earlier.

These include Kamaru Usman vs Burns, Alexander Volkanovski vs Max Holloway 2, and Petr Yan vs Jose Aldo.

To accommodate existing public health guidelines, DCT Abu Dhabi will create a safety zone within the nearly ten square mile (25 km2) Yas Island that will include an arena, hotel, training facilities, and dining establishments. This safety zone will only be open to UFC athletes and their coaches; UFC staff and other event personnel; and Yas Island employees who are necessary to ensure the operation of the facilities.

HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “Our partnership with the UFC, now in its second year, has proved to be one of our most successful ventures in recent years. Thanks to their commitment and cooperation, we are proud to announce that Abu Dhabi will host the first ever “Fight Island” event, marking the long-awaited return of UFC fights to the global stage.”

He added: “We have worked closely with all government entities in Abu Dhabi to ensure that the staging of this historic event complies with the highest standards of safety for the athletes, coaches, and all

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Muller the chef serves up title-winning assists for Bayern

Thomas Muller, left, of Munich is challenged by Edmond Tapsoda of Leverkusen during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich in Leverkusen, Germany, Saturday, June 6, 2020. (Matthias Hangst, Pool via AP)

DÜSSELDORF, Germany — Call them Road Runner and The Chef.

Alphonso Davies and Thomas Müller have built an effective and affectionate partnership this season, and it’s driving Bayern Munich toward a record-extending eighth straight German title.

“I call him Chef,” Davies said in televised comments after Müller broke the German league record with his 20th assist of the season Saturday. “He gives you assists, he gives you goals, whenever, whatever you need.”

Müller’s two assists in Saturday’s 4-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen took him past Kevin de Bruyne’s 19 assists for Wolfsburg in 2014-15, which the league said was the most by any player in records going back nearly three decades. Bayern played the game wearing armbands with the message “Black Lives Matter,” in reference to the movement’s many global anti-racism protests.

In calling Müller “Chef”, Davies was returning the favor after the experienced German dubbed the Canadian left-back the “FC Bayern Road Runner” for his ability to chase down seemingly lost causes in a crucial 1-0 win over Borussia Dortmund last month.

Davies and Müller seemed on opposite paths at the start of the season. The 19-year-old Canadian was forcing his way into the starting lineup, while the 30-year-old Müller had been dropped by the German national team and was increasingly a bench player for Bayern under coach Niko Kovac.

That all changed when Kovac was fired after an embarrassing 5-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt in November. His assistant Hansi Flick was put in charge — initially only for a few games — and restored Müller to his key role in Bayern’s midfield.

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Brazil withdraws bid to host 2023 Women’s World Cup

FILE – In this July 7, 2019, file photo, United States’ Megan Rapinoe lifts up a trophy after winning the Women’s World Cup final soccer match between US and The Netherlands at the Stade de Lyon in Decines, outside Lyon, France. The global players’ association released its report on the state of women’s soccer, after warning that the coronavirus outbreak could have a disastrous impact following the gains of last summer’s Women’s World Cup. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, File)

SAO PAULO — Brazil withdrew its bid to host the 2023 Women’s World Cup, arguing on Monday it cannot offer FIFA the financial assurances it needs because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Brazilian Football Confederation also said in a statement it will support Colombia’s bid against Japan and the joint candidacy of Australia and New Zealand. South America has never hosted the tournament. A decision is expected on June 25.

The confederation said the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro told FIFA it could not offer financial guarantees “due to the scenario of fiscal and economic austerity, caused by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The confederation “understands the position of caution of the Brazilian government, and of other public and private partners, which stopped them from formalizing the commitments within time or in the required form,” the statement added.

Brazil’s economy is expected to contract this year by at least 7.4%, investment bank Goldman Sachs predicts.

The country is the hardest hit by COVID-19 in Latin America, with more than 37,000 confirmed deaths.

Brazil’s soccer body also said the high number of big sporting events in the last decade could also harm the chances of its bid to host the Women’s World Cup.

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