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UFC, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia extend partnership for another event, sponsorship deal

The UFC’s ties to the Middle East grew deeper on Tuesday with the promotion extending a deal with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for another event to land there along with a strategic partnership to sponsor the upcoming card at The Sphere in Las Vegas.

Turki Alalshikh, the chairman of the board of directors of the general entertainment authority in Saudi Arabia, announced that Riyadh Season was extended an agreement with the UFC. UFC CEO Dana White also celebrated the news on his Instagram page.

Under terms of the deal, the UFC will bring another event to Saudi Arabia sometime in 2024 or 2025, which follows the upcoming card scheduled on June 22, which features former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker against Khamzat Chimaev in the main event.

In addition to the UFC returning to Saudi Arabia for another event, Riyadh Season, which is the annual sports and entertainment festival in the country, has agreed to sponsor the upcoming UFC 306 card at The Sphere in Las Vegas.

The event is expected to take place on Sept. 14, which is the weekend prior to Mexican Independence Day. UFC Noche, a highly successful card that took place this past September, celebrated Mexican Independence Day as well with White later stating that he planned to make it an annual event.

“This agreement is a continuation of Riyadh Season’s aims to host and partner with prominent and international events of mass interest,” Turki Alashikh said in a press release. “It also enhances our efforts for Riyadh Season to produce diverse content in order to engage and attract and even wider audience with different interests from around the world. UFC is the most prominent mixed martial arts organization in the world and their platform of global fans is unrivalled.”

In addition to this deal with Saudi Arabia, WWE — the other half of TKO Group Holdings alongside the UFC — has a longstanding relationship with the country. WWE has an event scheduled in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on May 25.

The previous deal reportedly paid the UFC around a $20 million site fee to bring the promotion to Saudi Arabia so it’s almost certain this new deal is even more lucrative, especially with the additional sponsorship for UFC 306.

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