UFC on ABC: Holloway vs. Kattar

UFC on ABC: Holloway vs. Kattar
UFC Fight Night January 16.jpeg
The poster for UFC on ABC: Holloway vs. Kattar.
PromotionUltimate Fighting Championship
DateJanuary 16, 2021 (2021-01-16)
VenueEtihad Arena
CityAbu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Event chronology
UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs. Neal UFC on ABC: Holloway vs. Kattar UFC on ESPN: Chiesa vs. Magny

UFC on ABC: Holloway vs. Kattar (also known as UFC on ABC 1 and UFC Fight Island 7) was a mixed martial arts event produced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship that took place on January 16, 2021 at the Etihad Arena on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.[2]


The main card marked the first time a mixed martial arts event was broadcast on ABC. It also meant the UFC's first return to network television since UFC on Fox: Lee vs. Iaquinta 2 was broadcast on Fox in December 2018.[3]

After hosting nine events behind closed doors at the du Forum amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the UFC made its debut at the newly built Etihad Arena. A limited number of fans were allowed inside the venue, marking the first time since UFC 248 on March 2020 that non-essential event personnel were in attendance.[4] The venue has maximum capacity of over 18,000, but the UFC is expecting to have closer to 2,000 fans for each of the Fight Island's events during the week.[5]

A featherweight bout between former UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway and Calvin Kattar served as the event headliner.[6]

A bantamweight bout between Ricky Simon and Brian Kelleher was initially scheduled to take place at UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Sakai, but Simon's cornerman tested positive for COVID-19 and he was forced to withdraw from the event.[7] The pairing was then rescheduled for this event.[8] In turn, Kelleher also tested positive on January 1 and was pulled from the bout.[9] He was replaced by newcomer Gaetano Pirrello and the bout took place four days later at UFC on ESPN: Chiesa vs. Magny.[10]

A women's bantamweight bout between former UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship challenger Bethe Correia and Wu Yanan was expected to take place at UFC on ESPN: Hermansson vs. Vettori.[11] However, due to visa issues, they were rescheduled for this event.[12] In turn, Correia had to pull out on January 5 due to appendicitis, which required an appendectomy.[13] She was replaced by promotional newcomer Joselyne Edwards. [14]

Muslim Salikhov was scheduled to face Santiago Ponzinibbio in a welterweight bout at the event.[15] However, Salikhov pulled out of the bout in mid-December citing health issues after contracting COVID-19.[16] He was replaced by Li Jingliang.[17]

A flyweight bout between former UFC Flyweight Championship challenger Tim Elliott (also The Ultimate Fighter: Tournament of Champions flyweight winner) and Jordan Espinosa was expected to take place at this event.[18] However, Espinosa tested positive for COVID-19 in late December and the pairing was moved to UFC 259.[19]

A women's bantamweight bout between The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate bantamweight winner Julianna Peña and former title challenger Sara McMann (also 2004 Olympic silver medalist in wrestling) was originally scheduled for this event before being pushed back a week later to UFC 257.[20][21]

The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3 middleweight winner Warlley Alves and Christian Aguilera were expected to meet in a welterweight bout.[22] However, Aguilera pulled out in late December due to an injury.[23] He was replaced by Mounir Lazzez and the pairing took place at UFC on ESPN: Chiesa vs. Magny.[24]

A middleweight bout between five-time Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Champion Rodolfo Vieira and Anthony Hernandez was expected to take place at this event.[25] However, Hernandez pulled out due to a positive COVID-19 test and they were rescheduled for UFC 258.[26]

A welterweight bout between former WEC Welterweight Champion and former interim UFC Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit and Matt Brown was originally booked for a planned January 30 event.[27] After the UFC opted against holding a card on that date, they were then briefly rescheduled for UFC on ESPN: Chiesa vs. Magny.[28] At last, they were booked for this event.[29] The pairing has been previously cancelled as they were initially scheduled to meet at UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Benavidez 2 in December 2013, but Brown pulled out due to an undisclosed injury.[30] They were booked once again in April 2018 for UFC on Fox: Poirier vs. Gaethje, but Brown had to pull out a second time as he injured his anterior cruciate ligament.[31]

Sarah Moras was initially scheduled to face Vanessa Melo in a bantamweight bout at UFC on ESPN: Santos vs. Teixeira on November 2020, but it was eventually postponed to take place at this event due to Moras contracting COVID-19.[32][33]

A featherweight bout between Nik Lentz and Mike Grundy was scheduled for this event.[34] However, a member of Grundy's team tested positive for COVID-19, hence Lentz was given a new opponent off Movsar Evloev who he will face at UFC 257 in a catchweight bout of 150 pounds.[35][36]

During fight week, the UFC opted to move a middleweight bout between Omari Akhmedov and Tom Breese to UFC on ESPN: Chiesa vs. Magny due to "COVID-19 related issues".[36][37]

A few hours before the event, a middleweight bout between Phil Hawes and Nassourdine Imavov was scrapped due to undisclosed reasons.[38]

After defending his UFC Lightweight Championship at UFC 254 in October, Khabib Nurmagomedov immediately announced his retirement, citing his father's death from complications related to COVID-19 in last July as the main reason behind it.[39] Despite his announcement, the title was never officially vacated as UFC President Dana White said several times that he believed Nurmagomedov would still fight again.[40][41][42] A meeting between both of them to discuss the champion's future was then expected to happen this week during the organization's stint at Fight Island, eventually taking place on January 15.[43][44] The following day, White made an appearance live on ABC during the main card of this event and revealed the outcome of the meeting: the Russian left the door open to a potential return, depending on how the main and co-main event lightweights perform at UFC 257, while also praising Charles Oliveira's performance at UFC 256.[45][46]


Main card (ABC / ESPN+)
Weight class Method Round Time Notes
Featherweight Max Holloway def. Calvin Kattar Decision (unanimous) (50–43, 50–43, 50–42) 5 5:00
Welterweight Carlos Condit def. Matt Brown Decision (unanimous) (30–27, 30–27, 30–27) 3 5:00
Welterweight Li Jingliang def. Santiago Ponzinibbio KO (punch) 1 4:25
Middleweight Alessio Di Chirico def. Joaquin Buckley KO (head kick) 1 2:12
Middleweight Punahele Soriano def. Duško Todorović TKO (punches) 1 4:48
Preliminary card (ESPN+)
Women's Bantamweight Joselyne Edwards def. Wu Yanan Decision (unanimous) (30–27, 30–27, 29–28) 3 5:00
Heavyweight Carlos Felipe def. Justin Tafa Decision (split) (29–28, 28–29, 29–28) 3 5:00
Welterweight Ramazan Emeev def. David Zawada Decision (split) (29–28, 28–29, 29–28) 3 5:00
Women's Bantamweight Vanessa Melo def. Sarah Moras Decision (unanimous) (30–27, 29–28, 29–28) 3 5:00
Featherweight Austin Lingo def. Jacob Kilburn Decision (unanimous) (30–26, 30–26, 30–27) 3 5:00


Bonus awards

The following fighters received $50,000 bonuses.[48]

  • Fight of the Night: Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar
  • Performance of the Night: Li Jingliang and Alessio Di Chirico

See also


  1. ^ Mike Bohn (2021-01-17). "UFC on ABC 1 post-event facts: Max Holloway's masterclass shatters all striking records". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  2. ^ Alexander K. Lee (2020-12-22). "Dana White announces UFC 257, first three events of 2021 to take place on Fight Island". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-12-22.
  3. ^ Marc Raimondi (2021-01-04). "UFC Fight Night: Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar main card to air on ABC network television". espn.com. Retrieved 2021-01-04.
  4. ^ Staff (2021-01-07). "Fans are back: UFC will have 'limited' attendance at three-card 'Fight Island' stint at Etihad Arena". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  5. ^ Newswire (2021-01-10). "Etihad Arena lists official COVID-19 safety measures for fans at January UFC Fight Island shows". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2021-01-11.
  6. ^ Mike Bohn (2020-11-17). "Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar headlines UFC Fight Night on Jan. 16". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-11-17.
  7. ^ Staff (2020-08-29). "Ricky Simon says he's out of Brian Kelleher fight after cornerman's positive COVID-19 test". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-10-13.
  8. ^ Farah Hannoun (2020-10-12). "UFC rebooks Brian Kelleher vs. Ricky Simon for Jan. 16 event". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-10-13.
  9. ^ Mike Heck and Guilherme Cruz (2021-01-01). "Positive COVID-19 test scratches Brian Kelleher from UFC Fight Island 7 bout with Ricky Simon". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2021-01-02.
  10. ^ Guilherme Cruz, Mike Heck and Steven Marrocco (2021-01-07). "Ricky Simon now faces newcomer Gaetano Pirello at UFC Fight Island 8". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  11. ^ Staff (2020-09-08). "Wu Yanan set to face Bethe Correia at UFC Fight Night 186". asianmma.com. Retrieved 2020-11-29.
  12. ^ Staff (2020-11-23). "UFC: Bethe Correia's retirement bout is postponed to January 16". espn.com.br. Retrieved 2020-11-29. (in Portuguese)
  13. ^ Guilherme Cruz (2021-01-05). "Bethe Correia to undergo surgery, withdraws from UFC Fight Island 7". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2021-01-06.
  14. ^ Alexander K. Lee (2021-01-07). "Joselyne Edwards to face Wu Yanan at UFC Fight Island 7 with Bethe Correia out". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  15. ^ Santino Honasan (2020-11-04). "Santiago Ponzinibbio set for UFC return in 2021 against Muslim Salikhov". sportskeeda.com. Retrieved 2020-12-15.
  16. ^ Farah Hannoun (2020-12-15). "Muslim Salikhov says he's out of Jan. 16 fight with Santiago Ponzinibbio due to COVID-related health issues". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-12-15.
  17. ^ Guilherme Cruz and Damon Martin (2020-12-21). "Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Li Jingliang targeted for Jan. 16 UFC card in Abu Dhabi". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-12-21.
  18. ^ Farah Hannoun (2020-10-15). "UFC books Tim Elliott vs. Jordan Espinosa for Jan. 16 event". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-10-15.
  19. ^ Staff and Nolan King (2020-12-22). "Jordan Espinosa tests positive for COVID-19; Tim Elliott fight rescheduled for UFC 259". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-12-22.
  20. ^ Farah Hannoun (2020-11-19). "Sara McMann vs. Julianna Pena added to UFC Fight Night on Jan. 16". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-12-26.
  21. ^ Nolan King and Mike Bohn (2020-12-26). "UFC 257 gets Julianna Pena vs. Sara McMann after fight pushed back one week". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-12-26.
  22. ^ Guilherme Cruz and Mike Heck (2020-12-01). "Warlley Alves vs. Christian Aguilera booked for Jan. 16 UFC show". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-12-01.
  23. ^ Blaine Henry (2020-12-29). "Exclusive: Christian Aguilera out of January 16th fight due to injury". mymmanews.com. Retrieved 2020-12-30.
  24. ^ Farah Hannoun and Nolan King (2021-01-04). "With Christian Aguilera out, Warlley Alves vs. Mounir Lazzez targeted for UFC Fight Night on Jan. 20". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-04.
  25. ^ Staff (2020-11-20). "BJJ specialist Rodolfo Vieira meets Anthony Hernandez at UFC event on January 16". mmadna.nl. Retrieved 2020-11-21. (in Dutch)
  26. ^ Jay Pettry (2021-01-01). "Positive COVID-19 test for Anthony Hernandez pushes Rodolfo Vieira match to Feb. 13". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2021-01-02.
  27. ^ Staff (2020-11-12). "Third time's the charm? Carlos Condit vs. Matt Brown booked for UFC Fight Night on Jan. 30". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-11-12.
  28. ^ Redactie (2020-12-22). "Carlos Condit vs. Matt Brown scheduled for the third time, this time on January 20, 2021". mmadna.nl. Retrieved 2020-12-22. (in Dutch)
  29. ^ Staff (2021-01-07). "UFC returns to UFC Fight Island". ufc.com. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  30. ^ Staff (2013-12-07). "Matt Brown injured, fight vs. Carlos Condit scrapped from UFC on FOX 9". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-11-12.
  31. ^ Dave Doyle (2018-04-02). "Injury forces Matt Brown out of UFC on FOX 29 bout with Carlos Condit". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-11-12.
  32. ^ Guilherme Cruz and Mike Heck (2020-08-13). "Sarah Moras vs. Vanessa Melo set for Nov. 7 UFC event". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2021-01-15.
  33. ^ Daniel Vreeland (2021-01-14). "UFC Fight Island 7's Sarah Moras: homesick and ready to hurt someone". cagesidepress.com. Retrieved 2021-01-15.
  34. ^ Staff (2020-11-22). "Nik Lentz vs. Mike Grundy added to UFC event on January 16, 2021". mmadna.nl. Retrieved 2020-11-23. (in Dutch)
  35. ^ Staff (2021-01-10). "With Mike Grundy out Saturday, Nik Lentz moves to UFC 257 vs. Movsar Evloev". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  36. ^ a b Staff (2021-01-12). "Updates to UFC Fight Island events". ufc.com. Retrieved 2021-01-12.
  37. ^ Nolan King (2021-01-12). "UFC on ESPN 20 gets Omari Akhmedov vs. Tom Breese after four-day COVID-19 delay". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  38. ^ Staff (2021-01-16). "UFC on ABC 1: Phil Hawes vs. Nassourdine Imavov bout scratched from preliminary card". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  39. ^ Dave Doyle (2020-10-24). "Khabib Nurmagomedov dominates Justin Gaethje, retires after UFC 254 submission win". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  40. ^ Simon Samano (2020-10-29). "Dana White has 'a feeling' Khabib Nurmagomedov won't stay retired after talking to him". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  41. ^ Simon Head and Ken Hathaway (2020-11-01). "Dana White leaves door open for Khabib Nurmagomedov to return: 'He's still the champ'". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  42. ^ Farah Hannoun and John Morgan (2020-11-18). "Dana White insists Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier won't be for title: 'Khabib's going to fight'". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  43. ^ Nolan King and John Morgan (2021-01-13). "Dana White anticipates Khabib Nurmagomedov meeting will be five minutes: 'It's yes or no'". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  44. ^ Nolan King (2021-01-15). "Video: Dana White and Khabib Nurmagomedov finally meet face to face in Abu Dhabi". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  45. ^ Simon Head, The Blue Corner (2021-01-16). "What's happening with Khabib Nurmagomedov? Dana White will reveal all at UFC on ABC 1". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  46. ^ Alexander K. Lee (2021-01-16). "Dana White announces that Khabib Nurmagomedov could return if UFC 257 lightweights, Charles Oliveira 'can do something special'". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  47. ^ "UFC on ABC: Holloway vs. Kattar". Ultimate Fighting Championship. Retrieved 2020-11-19.
  48. ^ Dave Doyle (2021-01-16). "UFC on ABC 1 bonuses: Of course Max Holloway earned an extra $50K". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-17.


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