The mystery of Fight Island finally unveiled as Dana White reveals July extravaganza
The world's premier mixed martial arts promotion will be heading to Abu Dhabi in July with four events planned in a spectacular new location - complete with an Octagon on the beach!
UFC boss Dana White revealed the promotion is headed for Abu Dhabi with four events planned at the newly-announced 'Fight Island'
The guessing game finally came to an end today as UFC boss Dana White revealed Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island as the location of the mysterious ‘Fight Island’ first mentioned back in April.
Determined not to be thwarted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the idea of Fight Island was first conceived by UFC executives as a safe, secure location to continue hosting events.
It was initially dismissed by some MMA observers as a fanciful conception but speaking today, White confirmed the promotion had not only secured a location, but begun to assemble an impressive infrastructure to support the tour.
The UFC, in tandem with Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism, will create a ten-mile safety zone around the island that will include an arena, hotel, training facilities, and dining establishments.
Only UFC athletes and their coaches, UFC staff and other specialist personnel will be granted access to the island in order to maintain a bio-safe environment for the events to take place.
The UFC will produce four events on Yas Island, including one Pay Per View, UFC 251, and three Fight Nights.
The action-packed schedule begins with UFC 251 on Saturday, July 11, and will be followed with successive Fight Nights on Wednesday, July 15; Saturday, July 18; and Saturday, July 25. Details for each event, including fight cards, will be announced in coming weeks.
UFC 251 will be feature three championship fights, with Kamaru Usman v Gilbert Burns for the welterweight title, Alexander Volkanovski v Max Holloway 2 for the featherweight title and Petr Yan v Jose Aldo for the bantamweight title confirmed to feature.
UFC President Dana White said: “We came up with the idea of having fights on ‘Fight Island’ because we needed a destination to hold international events during the global pandemic.
"Abu Dhabi has been an amazing location to hold fights over the past ten years and it is the perfect place for these events.
Yes - there is an Octagon on the beach!
- Dana White
"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”.
Speaking on ESPN's First Take today, he added: "Yes, there is an Octagon on the beach!"
The UFC visited Abu Dhabi most recently in 2019 as Khabib Nurmagomedov defended his lightweight title against former interim champion Dustin Poirier in the main event at UFC 242.
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