UFC president Dana White spoke with TMZ Sports recently and revealed his updated timeline for the return of events amid the COVID-19 outbreak. He explained that UFC 249 will still take place on April 18 and that the event will be held without fans in attendance. White then turned heads by revealing that he has nearly reached a deal on a private island for UFC fights.
"I'm a day or two from securing a private island," White said. "This private island that I'm securing, we're getting the infrastructure put in now. So I'm going to start doing the international fights too with international fighters. I won't be able to get international fighters — all of them — into the U.S., so I have a private island. I'm going to start flying them into the private island and doing the international fights from there."
When White informed TMZ of his plan for a "Fight Island," he was met with surprise by the interviewer, as well as fans on social media. There were a multitude of questions and comments about this plan. Some didn't realize that it was possible to procure a private island on short notice while others felt it made White look bad.
The vast majority of fans, however, just wanted to make jokes about the situation. They thought that this was a hilarious idea and that White was slowly taking on the role of a movie character. Some felt that he was actually trying to create his own special tournament.
Dana is a real life movie villain but still cool AF— BSA -SD (@realbretty619) April 7, 2020
With White unveiling his plan for an island specifically used for UFC fights, there were immediate questions about his moral compass. He has never drawn criticism for holding the world hostage or kidnapping spies, but some Twitter users are now anticipating a change. Having a private island only made them further believe that White would be using it for nefarious purposes.
Let is begin. pic.twitter.com/3o30MPe9ZQ— King Of warrakɛ 👑 (@kane_sliq) April 7, 2020
"This is literally the plot of mortal Kombat @danawhite has gone crazy @arielhelwani @MortalKombat," one fan commented on Twitter after hearing the news. Many others agreed with this sentiment and compared White to several characters from the long-running video game series, as well as the films. Although there were disagreements about which character would be portrayed by the UFC president.
We need Battle Royales— Gnoob (@Noobface) April 7, 2020
The film Battle Royale drew criticism due to the concept of high school students having to fight to the death, but this theme has made several video games popular. PlayerUnknowns: Battlegrounds, Call of Duty: Warzone and Apex Legends have all put a mass amount of players in an area to fight to the death. Now UFC fans are worried that White might be planning something similar.
With White planning to hold special fights on a private island, there are now questions about how this will impact professional wrestling. Will Vince McMahon and the WWE follow suit? Will AEW secure an island for their upcoming bouts? There are several fans that believe having a successful series of island fights could lead to some copycats.
On a private island ufc ? It’s gonna break records for PPV buys— No body (@Nobody87020082) April 7, 2020
Moving UFC fights to a private island and using planes to shuttle the fighters in and out doesn't seem to be the most inexpensive option for making fights happen. For some fans, this means that the UFC will create more pay-per-view events in an attempt to recoup some of the costs. If so, will fight fans shell out $70 for each event? Some analysts believe that there won't be many purchases of a pay-per-view, but others disagree due to the unique nature of Fight Island.
Dana White is saying that he’s getting an island to make sure the fights go on. Lift the weight restrictions and have it go back to the old UFC. You possibly have a Mortal Kombat scenario on your hands and you gotta run with it. #UFC249— Bryant Martinez (@Stillonyavin) April 7, 2020
The UFC is based in the United States and has to adhere to specific rules and the Nevada Athletic Commission, at least for the events at T-Mobile Arena. Now that White plans on having some fights on a private island, there are questions about the governing body. Is the island in international waters? Who determines what rules will be followed? The fans don't have the answers, but they have listed some potential options.
This is going to be an amazing 30 for 30 documentary someday!— Ryan Stoor (@RyanStoor) April 7, 2020
There are many fans focusing on the present and whether or not White will be able to make this Fight Island successful. Others, however, are thinking about the future. If these events do take place on the private island, they want to know what went into making them happen. In fact, they are hoping for a documentary series that covers whether or not this island previously belonged to Jeffrey Epstein.