For months now, ever since Covid-19 started wreaking havoc on live sports, UFC owner Dana White has been insisting he’d find a way to skirt coronavirus regulations to make sure that the UFC could stick to its schedule and keep running fights.
One of his ideas was to secure a private island (later dubbed “Fight Island”) to host fights featuring international competitors. That idea is now a reality as the UFC just announced that Fight Island will be Yas Island in the United Arab Emirates capital city of Abu Dhabi. The UFC will host four major events on the island between July 11 and July 25, with the first being UFC 251 Saturday, July 11.
The event will be headlined by a trio of title bouts: Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns (welterweight) in the main event, Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway (featherweight) and Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo (bantamweight). Abu Dhabi will designate a safety zone of 10 square miles on the island which will only be open to UFC athletes and personnel. That safety zone will include an arena, hotel, dining, and training facilities.
In a press release to the media UFC president Dana White stated: “The infrastructure we are building will be such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the fighters that’s never been done before — from the arena, the private training facility, and the Octagon on the island, it’s going to be an experience that none of us will ever forget. I can’t wait to deliver amazing fights from Yas Island.”
The two-week run should be a unique and exciting experience for the UFC that provides plenty of entertainment for a world that is searching for live sports. For more information visit www.ufc.com.
JP Raineri can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.