Turki Alalshikh reveals conversation with UFC about having Conor McGregor fight in Saudi Arabia: “We’re ready”

By Josh Evanoff - January 19, 2024

Saudi Arabia advisor Turki Alalshikh would love to bring Conor McGregor and the UFC to his country.

Conor McGregor, Turki Alalshikh

Saudi Arabia has arguably become the home of boxing, in just a year. Thanks to the guidance of Turki Alalshikh as well as a lot of money, they’ve attracted multiple massive fights, including Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou. Along the way, they’ve paid stars such as Conor McGregor to attend and promote these events.

However, Saudi Arabia doesn’t plan to stop their combat sports pursuits at boxing. Last year, they famously inked a $100 million dollar deal with the PFL and also signed a deal with the UFC. In March, the company was expected to bring its brand to the Middle East for its first event.

However, the event was postponed to June earlier this week. Some speculated, including Ariel Helwani, that Saudi Arabia and Turki Alalshikh stepped in, and postponed the card themselves due to its poor quality. Dana White later hit back at those reports, stating that they were baseless. Nonetheless, the country has big ambitions for its combat sports future.

Speaking in a recent interview with DAZN, Turki Alalshikh revealed that one of their goals is to have Conor McGregor fight in Saudi Arabia. The advisor also stated that he had spoken to the UFC about potentially having it become a reality. However, Alalshikh didn’t reveal how the company responded to his proposal.


Conor McGregor

Turki Alalshikh opens up on conversation with the UFC about Conor McGregor

“I talked to my sister Caroline here and she’s close friends with McGregor and myself.” Turki Alalshikh stated to DAZN in a recent interview about the country’s push into combat sports. “We are ready to have a fight with him [here]. We try maybe, and we will announce it and do something big [in the future].”

He continued, “I ask the UFC if there’s a chance to have McGregor in this card. Or, in the future card. I want to tell you something. There is two things I’m focusing in, [MMA] and the situation in boxing.”

While the UFC is still working on their first trip to Saudi Arabia, they now have some competition in the region. Earlier this week, PFL announced plans to have their cross-promoted card with Bellator there in February. The event features names such as Ryan Bader, and Patricio Pitbull, as well as the return of Claressa Shields.

Following the announcement, PFL executive Donn Davis took a shot at the UFC, calling their Saudi event a “poor fight card”. While the company is unlikely to take Conor McGregor there in June, the Irishman’s presence would automatically elevate the fight card. Furthermore, if Turki Alalshikh gets his way, ‘The Notorious’ will be fighting in Saudi Arabia sooner rather than later.

As of now, however, Conor McGregor is expected to fight in Las Vegas on June 29th. The former dual-weight UFC champion is expected to meet Michael Chandler in a five-round bout, in the headlining bout of International Fight Week.

What do you make of these comments from Turki Alalshikh? Who do you want to see Conor McGregor fight next?


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