De Bruyne swaps Etihad for the Octagon as he sits front row at UFC 294

Kevin De Bruyne swaps the Etihad for the Octagon as he sits front row at UFC 294 – insisting he ‘can’t wait to see the games’ in Abu Dhabi – with the Man City star continuing his recovery from injury

  • Kevin De Bruyne was spotted in attendance front row at UFC 284 on Saturday
  • The Man City star was pictured alongside club chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak
  • Islam Makhachev defeated Alexander Volkanovski by KO in the main event

Kevin De Bruyne was in attendance at UFC 294 sitting front row at the pay-per-view event as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury.

The Manchester City talisman has been on the sidelines since August after being forced off after just 22 minutes during the club’s Premier League opening day win against Burnley.

But while his teammates returned to winning ways against Brighton at the Etihad, their captain was more than 3500 miles away watching an entirely different kind of action unfold in Abu Dhabi.

Pictured alongside City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak during the event, De Bruyne sat front row to watch the event headlined by Islam Makhachev’s short-notice UFC Lightweight World Championship defence against reigning featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski.

In a video posted to the UFC’s social media accounts, the 32-year-old expressed his excitement at being cageside for the fights. 

Kevin De Bruyne sat cageside for the UFC 284 pay-per-view in Abu Dhabi on Saturday night

The Man City captain was pictured alongside club chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak at the event

Islam Makhachev knocked out Alexander Volkanovski in the event’s headline bout

A post shared by UFC (@ufc)

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‘Hi guys, Kevin here. I’m at the Abu Dhabi UFC fights, can’t wait to see the games. Enjoy.’ He said.

The Belgium international was treated to an array of top talent at the Etihad Arena in the Emirati capital, in a card that had undergone significant upheaval due to injuries approaching fight night.

After a staph infection forced Paulo Costa to withdraw from his co-main event bout with surging contender Khamzat Chimaev, former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman was called upon to take on the undefeated star.

Despite having little time to prepare for his debut in the weight class, Usman performed commendly against the undefeated Chimaev, with both fighters having their moments in a back-and-forth fight over 15 minutes before Chimaev got the nod on the judges’ scorecards. 

Then in a main event again featuring a short-notice replacement,  Volkanovski again attempted to become a two-weight world champion after coming close to defeating Makhachev back in February.

This time however, the defending champion left no doubt in the result as he landed a devastating head kick in the first round to make the second defence of his lightweight title. 


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