Report | UFC Saudi Arabia postponed to June in order to produce a “more entertaining fight card”

By Cole Shelton - January 15, 2024

The UFC will not be going to Saudi Arabia in March as expected.

UFC Saudi Arabia

On Monday, MMA reporter Ariel Helwani revealed on ‘The MMA Hour’ that the event scheduled for March 2 has been postponed until June. Helwani claims the higher-ups in Saudi Arabia pushed for the event to be postponed so the card could be deeper and have more well-known names.

“I am being told via sources that the planned March 2nd UFC event in Saudi Arabia is being postponed and the target is June. I was told that the reason for the postponement is because, they just want, the powers that be in Saudi Arabia want a more entertaining fight card, they want a deeper fight card with bigger names on it, they weren’t too pleased with what was being offered. So, it is being at this point moved to later in the year, June,” Helwani said… “Saudi Arabia was never going to accept a lesser card than what Abu Dhabi is getting or anyone else is getting. I always found it a little bit surprising that it was just being billed as Fight Night. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a pay-per-view.”

Of course, just recently, Islam Makhachev called out Justin Gaethje for a June 8 pay-per-view, which could be the new date for the Saudi Arabia card. Originally, UFC Saudi Arabia was just a Fight Night card and before the event was postponed to June, the main event of the card had not been revealed. But, according to Helwani, the higher-ups in Saudi Arabia who are paying for the card to be there, weren’t happy with the plans.

As of right now, the UFC has yet to confirm if the Saudi Arabia has indeed been postponed to June. But, all signs point to that happening, which perhaps could be the date for Makhachev’s next fight.

Before UFC Saudi Arabia got postponed, the card was to feature the following bouts:

  • Alex Perez vs. Muhammad Mokaev
  • Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Shamil Gaziev
  • Eryk Anders vs. Jamie Pickett
  • Joel Alvarez vs. L’udovit Klein
  • Vinicius Oliveira vs. Yanis Ghemmouri
  • Javid Basharat vs. Aiemann Zahabi
  • Mohammed Yahya vs. Brendon Marotte
  • Loik Radzhabov vs. Abdul-Kareem Al-Selwady