UFC President Dana White confirms to ESPN that Fight Island is indeed real and located at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Fight Island will feature four live events in July including UFC 251 featuring:
- UFC Welterweight Championship: Kamaru Usman (c) vs. Gilbert Burns
- UFC Featherweight Championship: Alexander Volkanovski (c) vs. Max Holloway rematch
- Vacant UFC Bantamweight Championship: Petr Yan vs. José Aldo
- Heavyweights: Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Ciryl Gane
- Women’s Flyweight: Paige VanZant vs. Amanda Ribas
- Bantamweights: Frankie Edgar vs. Pedro Munhoz
- Women’s Strawweight: Rose Namajunas vs. Jéssica Andrade rematch
- Light Heavyweights: Volkan Oezdemir vs. Jiří Procházka
White also confirms Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier 3 for the UFC heavyweight championship on Aug. 15 at a location to be determined. And yes, the octagon will be on the beach. It’s going to be a fun summer for fight fans. Official UFC press release below.
.@danawhite revealed details on “Fight Island” for #UFC251 on July 11. @espnmma— First Take (@FirstTake) June 9, 2020
🔸 Yas Island in Abu Dhabi
🔸 Octagon on the beach
🔸 Private training, hotel facilities
🔸 Three title fights pic.twitter.com/V6Fk3N80fw
ABU DHABI’S YAS ISLAND TO HOST HISTORIC “UFC FIGHT ISLAND”
UFC Partners with DCT Abu Dhabi to Bring Much-Anticipated Series of Events to the UAE Capital
UFC to Produce Four Events, Including UFC 251, from July 11 – July 25
LAS VEGAS and ABU DHABI – UFC®, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization, and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) today announced that the much-anticipated UFC FIGHT ISLANDÔ events will be held on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island, one of the emirate’s most popular leisure, shopping and entertainment destinations.
UFC will produce four events on Yas Island, including one Pay Per View, UFC® 251, and three Fight Nights. The action-packed schedule begins with UFC 251 on Saturday, July 11, and will be followed with successive Fight Nights on Wednesday, July 15; Saturday, July 18; and Saturday, July 25. Details for each event, including fight cards, will be announced in coming weeks.
To accommodate existing public health guidelines, DCT Abu Dhabi will create a safety zone within the nearly ten square mile (25 km2) Yas Island that will include an arena, hotel, training facilities, and dining establishments. This safety zone will only be open to UFC athletes and their coaches; UFC staff and other event personnel; and Yas Island employees who are necessary to ensure the operation of the facilities.
HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “Our partnership with the UFC, now in its second year, has proved to be one of our most successful ventures in recent years. Thanks to their commitment and cooperation, we are proud to announce that Abu Dhabi will host the first ever “Fight Island” event, marking the long-awaited return of UFC fights to the global stage.”
He added: “We have worked closely with all government entities in Abu Dhabi to ensure that the staging of this historic event complies with the highest standards of safety for the athletes, coaches, and all UFC personnel as well as the safety of our community. This year, Abu Dhabi has successfully proven its ability to handle all challenges and promote the well-being of its visitors and residents; and today, we are here to showcase the best that our capital has to offer, as we look forward to opening our doors once again to the world.”
UFC President Dana White commented: “We came up with the idea of having fights on ‘Fight Island’ because we needed a destination to hold international events during the global pandemic. Abu Dhabi has been an amazing location to hold fights over the past ten years and it is the perfect place for these events. 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. I can’t wait to deliver amazing fights from Yas island.”
In 2019, UFC and DCT Abu Dhabi entered into a groundbreaking five-year partnership to bring UFC events to the emirate. UFC® 242: KHABIB VS. POIRIER, the first event held under the new agreement, attracted more than 14,000 fans to Yas Island last September. The agreement to bring UFC FIGHT ISLAND to Abu Dhabi is an expansion of the original five-year partnership between UFC and DCT Abu Dhabi.
UFC FIGHT ISLAND events will air live on global broadcasters around the world and on Pay-Per-View in select markets. UFC events are broadcast in 175 countries and territories in 40 different languages and reach approximately one billion TV households.
In the UAE and throughout the rest of the Middle East and North Africa, UFC content is streamed on UFC Arabia app, UFC’s first Arabic-language streaming subscription service in the region. ‘UFC Arabia’ app can be downloaded through Apple Store and Google Play and is available on web, smart phone, tablets and Smart TVs.
Prior to 2019, UFC held events in Abu Dhabi in 2010 and 2014, including its first-ever outdoor event, UFC® 112: INVINCIBLE, in April 2010, and UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: NOGUEIRA vs. NELSON in April 2014.
A full line of UFC FIGHT ISLAND products, including t-shirts, hats, water bottles, tote bags, and more are available now on UFCStore.com.
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