The UFC will return to the Middle East this weekend for UFC 267. Jan Blachowicz will defend his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship belt against Glover Teixeira in the headline fight, but there are solid matches up and down the card. Petr Yan will look to fight his way back to title contention against Cory Sandhagen after losing his belt at UFC 259, and Islam Makhachev will take on Dan Hooker in a bout between lightweight contenders.
UFC 267 will be held at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Saturday, October 30, 2021. This promotion will be available on ESPN Plus with the prelims starting at 10:30 AM ET and the main card starting at 2 PM ET.
Jan Blachowicz vs. Glover Teixeira
UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz will be happy to return to Abu Dhabi. Blachowicz won his title here over Dominick Reyes at UFC 253 last September, and he has won nine of his last 10 fights. Overall, he is 28-8 as a professional MMA fighter with a solid overall style. He has won almost as many fights by knockout (eight) as submission (nine), and he is feeling confident after defending his belt against current UFC Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya at UFC 259 in March.
This will be the second time that Glover Teixeira has challenged for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Teixeira lost a unanimous decision to Jon Jones at UFC 172, and it took him some time to get back to the top. He has won five straight fights coming into this title challenge though, earning Performance of the Night bonuses twice. Teixeira isn’t likely to go the distance given just nine of his 39 fights have been decided by the judges, and he will need to finish early since he is 42 years old and no longer has the stamina he did in the past.
Petr Yan vs. Cory Sandhagen
This bout will be for the interim bantamweight title. Originally, current champion Aljamain Sterling was supposed to face Petr Yan as part of this promotion. However, Sterling had to pull out of the fight due to a neck injury, so Cory Sandhagen will step in for him.
Yan became the first fighter in UFC history to lose a title due to disqualification. He beat Jose Aldo by TKO for the belt in UFC 251, but he was disqualified for hitting Sterling with an illegal knee at UFC 259. It was just the second loss of his MMA career.
Cory Sandhagen was something of a surprising choice for this fight. He lost by first-round submission to Aljamain Sterling at UFC 250, and he lost a split decision to T.J. Dillashaw in late July. Sandhagen’s best wins have been over Marlon Moraes and Frankie Edgar, and Yan is a significant step up.
Li Jingliang vs. Khamzat Chimaev
At long last, Khamzat Chimaev will finally step into the Octagon again. Chimaev was one of the breakout UFC stars last summer, as he won his debut by second-round submission over John Phillips on July 16. He set a record with fastest turnaround between fights just 10 days later, and he knocked out Rhys McKee in the first round. Chimaev knocked out Gerald Meerschaert in 17 seconds in his most recent fight last September, but he hasn’t fought since that point after contracting a severe case of COVID.
Li Jingliang is 18-6 and is seen as a sacrificial lamb in this fight. Jingliang will look to prove everyone wrong though, as he is a veteran that has been with UFC for the last seven years. He isn’t afraid to stand and trade so we could see some real fireworks here.