UFC fans have eagerly awaited the day when Dana White would unveil the location of "Fight Island." That day arrived on Tuesday when the UFC head revealed the site and the dates of upcoming events. "Fight Island" is actually Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
White revealed the news with a brief video on Twitter. There was no voiceover or dialogue; the video just showed an octagon sitting in the sand while the waves crashed onto the beach. However, White did reveal when the events at Fight Island will take place. The first will be on July 11, followed by July 15, July 18 and July 25.
"I'll be there [Fight Island] from the first week of July until Saturday night, July 25," White told TMZ on Tuesday morning. "I'll fly home after the fight. The first fight that we're looking at for July 11, Fight Island, is [Alexander] Volkanovski vs [Max] Holloway, Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo, Jessica Andrade vs. Rose Namajunas in the rematch."
White revealed that he hasn't filled out the other fight cards just yet. However, he is looking at Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Shogun Rua and Robert Whittaker vs. Darren Till. White also promised some other additions during the upcoming events.
Abu Dhabi is a central location for international fighters. Khabib Nurmagomedov will have a relatively short trip if he happens to take part in one of the events. Similarly, Alexander Gustafsson will have a flight just under 10 hours when he travels to Fight Island for his July 25 bout. He will return to the octagon since a brief retirement in order to face Fabricio Werdum.
In terms of design, White said that Fight Island would have a similar layout to the APEX Arena in Las Vegas. The UFC has held two events in the empty arena, including UFC 250 while following new health and safety guidelines. White and his fighters will follow similar instructions during July, albeit in a vastly different location.
White recognizes that COVID-19 is still a concern, and he laid out some details during his discussion with TMZ. The fighters on Yas Island will have their own private training areas, and they will travel to and from Fight Island on a private airplane secured by the UFC. Additionally, there will be a lot of "testing and quarantining" during July.