UFC Fight Island: Dana White & Co. heading to Abu Dhabi for July
When the coronavirus was at the height of its spread, Dana White went into panic mode and booked an island to accommodate his international fighters. While he eventually was still able to hold events, the president of the company didn’t let it become a missed opportunity, and now here we are.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has four scheduled events in July, all of which will take place on an island. An ideal branding situation given the current circumstances and unnecessary, but Dana White will do as he pleases.
During the process, UFC President Dana White wasn’t shy in releasing information on how stressful hiring an island has become.
“Fight Island is so f****** expensive and so f****** crazy – and almost impossible to pull off,” he said.
“You’re talking about planes, flying people over, you have to quarantine people. It’s insane to be even trying to do this. But I promise you we will do it, and we will pull it off.
“I believe that in doing this, it’s going to help grow the sport immensely. It’s going to help financially and in many different ways. I know we can do it.”
The exotic location of Yas Island, Abu Dhabi was announced last week; the UFC has planned to hold a string of back to back events; beginning with UFC 251 on July the 11th – Followed by a Fight Night events on the 15th, 18th and 25th of July.
Headlining the main event of UFC 251 will be the welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, defending his championship against the Brazilian contender Gilbert Burns. Burns is making a quick turnaround from his last fight, an impressive win over former titleholder Tyron Woodley. The UFC had initially offered the opportunity to Jorge Masvidal; the business became a problem leading the UFC to give Gilbert Burns a chance.
Fight Island will not cater to an audience in attendance, and you can’t watch your favorite fighter live, but the good news is, bookmakers have odds available weeks in advance of Fight Island taking place. The price on SBR for Kamaru Usman looks tempting, be sure to shop around for the best possible odds.
Odds by sportsbookreview.com
However, Fight Island will cater to its viewership by holding a pay-per-view event that can compete with the talent stacked UFC 249 PPV we saw last In May; Alexander Volkanovski, Max Holloway, Jose Aldo and Petr Yan, to name a few.
However, Fight fans who aren’t new to the game will already be aware that Dana White knows how to sell a pay-per-view and the romanticized ‘Fight Island’ is nothing more than a return trip to Abu Dhabi with some branding behind it
“First of all, the lighting grid – you couldn’t put the lighting grid on a beach,” White told reporters Friday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. “You could try it; I don’t think it’s going to turn out very well.
“I’m always afraid of the elements – wind, rain, all the things that can happen. I like the comfort and safety of an arena. That’s what I’m into every single time we go out and do it. Pulling off what the fantasy of ‘Fight Island’ was is pretty tough. And I think it would look like sh*t on TV, too.”
Nobody should complain about the misleading propaganda from Dana White, the events leading up to Fight Island and those scheduled during the month have some of the single most talented guys on the UFC roster. The welterweight title fight between Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns, the rematch between Max Holloway and Alexander Volkanovski, and the vacant flyweight title will be up for grabs when Petr Yan takes on Jose Aldo.
It’s easy to focus on UFC 251, but when you have Robert Whittaker and Darren Till headlining the successive event after 251 you know we’re in for a treat. UFC and Dana White continue to juggle their demanding schedule; fighters from a European location will now find it easier to get back to work as the UFC show the sporting world how to work around the coronavirus, impressive.