Earlier this week, we examined the exciting prospect that the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) could use Abu Dhabi as its staging location for the teased concept of ‘Fight Island.’
The idea was UFC President, Dana White’s theatrical solution to meeting the social distancing requirements of the pandemic era.
An octagon housed in a remote arena somewhere exotic, with on-site training facilities, and zero spectators. A stripped-back celebration of the art of combat.
And tonight, Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT) has confirmed that Yas Island on Abu Dhabi will be that special location.
There are four separate UFC fights set to take place in one of Yas Island’s existing arenas (although the decision on which is yet to be decided), throughout July.
The main event, UFC 251 will take place on Saturday July 11, 2020, with three further ‘Fight Nights’ scheduled for Wednesday July 15, Saturday July 18, and Saturday July 25.
The group of fighters will arrive in the capital for their MMAcation and stay for a period of three weeks. Where, in addition to training, they and their coaching teams will be subject to testing for Covid-19 to ensure contamination risks are kept to an absolute minimum.
The action will concentrate around an isolated ‘safe space’ on Yas Island where access is restricted to a group of 2,500 essential staff, coaches and athletes.
White has never been shy about his ambitions to return to Abu Dhabi, speaking to UFC Arabia before May’s UFC 249 in Florida, he said:
“We are going to just keep putting on massive fights in Abu Dhabi and keep educating the world on what an incredible destination for fights it is.”