UFC President Dana White Details ‘Fight Island’ Plans
While most sports came to a grinding halt last month as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and indeed most MMA promotions, instead it’s been a rollercoaster ride for the UFC. Throughout the whole coronavirus situation, UFC president Dana White has been adamant that UFC 249 would go ahead as planned on April 18th.
In spite of lockdowns, travel restrictions, a media backlash and the undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov pulling out, Dana never backed down. Until he received a phone call from ‘the powers that be’ at ESPN and Disney, telling him to postpone UFC 249.
Despite this, Dana hasn’t lost any of his resolve. Before UFC 249 was postponed, the UFC boss revealed that he was securing a private island to hold international fight cards on. Now the goal is to hold fights on the island as soon as possible.
Speaking to ESPN, Dana opened up on his ‘Fight Island’ and when we can expect to see the UFC return there.
“That’s why I’m telling all my guys not to worry. Because Fight Island’s going to happen. All the infrastructure’s being built right now and getting put in place. As we get closer to that, then I’ll start figuring out booking fights, getting guys ready. Plus I can ship guys over there earlier and they can start training over there on the island.
“So once that’s all in place, you’re looking at a month. A month, I’ll have all that put together and guys can start training and can go there. I’m sure people are going to be ready to get out of their houses in another month and go to an island somewhere and train. It’s all coming together. I could go next week.
The idea of a ‘Fight Island’ for most of us, would involve Hollywood. Not for Dana however.
“So what happened was…if you put me in a box…I don’t believe that anything can’t be done. Everything can be done under any type of circumstances. You just need to figure out how to get it done. And that has always been my mentality. So if we got a place set up here in the United States and we were just running fights out of the US with no international…this is a global business that we have here. If we keep running just US fights, we’ll smoke all the talent before we even get back to normal.
“We have to run both, international and local fights. So we got the local fights figured out. How do we run international? So Ari [Emanuel] and I came up with the island.”
Do you think Dana White’s ‘Fight Island’ will work out?
Check out how the MMA world reacted to the cancellation of UFC 249; including Conor McGregor, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje and Joe Rogan; here: