Ultimate Fighting Champion president Dana White has confirmed Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates as the location of the UFC fight island. In April 2020, he announced that the mixed martial arts promotion was about to secure a private island to stage bouts for international fighters unable to enter the United States due to travel restrictions amid the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Occupying a total land area of 2,500 hectares, Yas Island is one of the top tourism projects in Abu Dhabi and was named by the World Travel Awards as the leading tourism project in the world in November 2009. The first Ferrari-branded theme park called Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is located on the island.
“Abu Dhabi has been an amazing location to hold fights over the past 10 years and it is the perfect place for these events,” White said. “The infrastructure we are building will be such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the fighters that’s never been done before from the arena, the private training facility and the octagon on the island. It’s going to be an experience that none of us will ever forget.”
The idea of staging bouts on a UFC fight island sprang from the need to have a destination to hold international events during the COVID-19 pandemic, White explained. The first event to take place on the island is “UFC 251,” which is scheduled to be held on July 11, 2020.
To ensure “UFC 251” complies with public health guidelines, a huge safety zone will be enforced on the island. The area will feature the arena, hotel, training facilities and dining establishments exclusively for the hotel staff and the promotion’s staff and fighters along with their respective coaches.
According to White, there is an octagon for training out in the sand on the UFC fight island. He said people in Abu Dhabi do everything right and he expects the infrastructure to be unbelievable.
Everything will happen on Yas Island and no one is allowed to leave the island during the staging of “UFC 251,” White said. He added that the fighters will have their own private training quarters.