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General view of the octagon prior to UFC 261 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 24, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida. Alex Menendez/Getty Images


  • Road To UFC's semifinal fights will take place in Abu Dhabi on October 23
  • Winners of their respective weight classes will get a UFC contract
  • UFC 280 will happen a day before the tournament

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is continuing its ascent in the mainstream with multiple promotions around the world hosting their own events in an effort to foster the sport while also putting on an exciting product.

The UFC remains at the top of mind for most people around the world after successfully becoming the first promotion to make MMA a publicly recognized sport.

In their efforts to continue developing the sport, the Dana White-led MMA organization has announced that it will be holding the second leg of the Road To UFC tournament in Abu Dhabi, which is set to happen on October 23–a day after UFC 280 headlined by a lightweight championship clash between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev.

Singapore was witness to the opening round of the tournament last June 9 and 10 ahead of their long-anticipated return to the Asian region with UFC 275, where Jiri Prochazka pulled off the massive upset against Glover Teixeira to claim the light heavyweight title.

The tourney aims to showcase the very best young fighters from Asia as they all vie for a spot in the finals to get a chance to fight for one of four UFC contracts across different weight divisions.

From a total of 32 competitors, the field has since been whittled down to 16 and the eight winners of their respective fights will go on to the finals at a later date.

Road To UFC, Bantamweight
Road To UFC Bantamweight Bracket. UFC

The semifinals of the Road to UFC tournament and broadcast times are as follows:

Episode 5: Sunday, October 23 at 3:00 PM GST (7:00 AM ET)

  • Featherweight: Yi Zha vs Koyomi Matsushima
  • Flyweight: Qui Lun vs Seung Guk Choi
  • Lightweight: Won Bin Ki vs Jeka Saragih
  • Bantamweight: Toshiomi Kazama vs Min Woo Kim
  • Non-tournament: TBD
Road To UFC, Featherweight
Road To UFC Featherweight Bracket. UFC

Episode 6: Sunday, October 23 at 5:00 PM GST (9:00 AM ET)

  • Featherweight: Jung Young Lee vs Lu Kai
  • Bantamweight: Rinya Nakamura vs Shohei Nose
  • Flyweight: Topnoi Kiwram vs Hyun Sung Park
  • Lightweight: Anshul Jubli vs Kyung Pyo Kim
  • Non-tournament: TBD
Road To UFC, Flyweight
Road To UFC Flyweight Bracket. UFC

Having non-tournament fights is a solid gesture on the part of the UFC as the outfit could potentially include fighters whose weight classes were not represented in the tournament.

With the fighters fully aware of what is at stake, MMA fans in Abu Dhabi and across the world are surely looking forward to seeing some of the best Asian standouts duke it out on October 23.

Joining Oliveira and Makachaev atop the UFC 280 card on October 22 is bantamweight king Aljamain Sterling defending his title against TJ Dillashaw, while "Sugar" Sean O'Malley looks to extend his winning streak to four fights by defeating former 135-pound division kingpin Petr Yan.

Road To UFC, Lightweight
Road To UFC Lightweight Bracket. UFC