The home of UFC’s ‘Fight Island’ has been located. an island in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, is expected to host events from June 27th. – allowing internationally and United States-based competitors to compete, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Regulations to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus has limited the travel of mixed martial artists based outside of the United States, in order to compete on UFC hosted events. In May, the promotion hosted three events in Jacksonville, Florida at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. The UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada will play host to, UFC 250 tonight, as well as four Fight Night events. From June 27th. the promotion is expected to host events from ‘Fight Island’. News of the location was initially reported by Combate reporters, Marcelo Barone and Raphael Marinho.
UFC president, Dana White announced his plans to host fights from a private island in early April, explaining how infrastructure was in place for the promotion to start hosting events on a “weekly basis“, with the Octagon located on a beach. White revealed training facilities and accommodation, amongst other amenities, were in place for fighters to utilise upon arrival.
Regulations upon arrival in Abu Dhabi aren’t as stringent as other locations, with a fourteen-day period of self-isolation not necessary.
Last September marked the most recent UFC event hosted in Abu Dhabi. Yan Island played host to UFC 242 – with a main event between lightweight champion, Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov, and then interim titleholder, Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier headlining the card.
High-profile bouts targeted to feature at UFC ‘Fight Island’ events include – a vacant flyweight title rematch between Deiveson Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez is expected to take place. A high-profile meeting between Jack ‘The Joker’ Hermansson, and one-time interim title challenger, Kelvin Gastelum is also slated.
On July 27th. – former middleweight champion, Robert ‘The Reaper’ Whittaker, and one-time welterweight title hopeful, Darren ‘The Gorilla’ Till is expected to headline an event. The return of former three-time 205-pound championship chaser, Alexander Gustafsson is in the works also, as he makes a heavyweight debut against currently targeted opponent, Fabrício Werdum.