Dana White explains why ‘Fight Island’ reality won’t be living up to fan fantasy

Dana White explains why ‘Fight Island’ reality won’t be living up to fan fantasy

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“Fight Island” is, in fact, real, but it won’t be what the internet expected.

The series of four events in 14 days happening next month at the Yas Island in Abu Dhabi will be much different than what many fans thought it would be. There was a lot of mystery and anticipation around the unveiling of the “Fight Island” concept. which UFC president Dana White first teased in early March. White kept his cards close to the vest all the way until the official announcement earlier in the week.

The lack of details surrounding “Fight Island” during the weeks of buildup triggered the imagination of the combat sports World. Many fans did think fights would happen in an octagon set on the beach.

Unfortunately for fans expecting such a fantasy, the events will be held in an arena instead.

“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 gonna 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.”

The Abu Dhabi events were designed to cater to international fighters who are unable to enter and compete in the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic. The events kick off with UFC 251 on July 11, with subsequent shows scheduled for July 15, 18 and 25.

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White is happy the UFC was able to work with the Department of Culture and Tourism of Abu Dhabi to secure the island to host events. The deal is separate from the one the UFC signed last year before UFC 242.

“It’s good,” White said. “It’s an incredible thing that we’ve pulled off. They have this thing called the safety zone. It’s 10 square miles where only we exist on the island at the hotel, restaurants. Every fighter has their own private training facility. It’s gonna be a unique experience. Very cool.”

White also said fighters will be competing in the 30-foot full size octagon, unlike the fighters who have competed in the 25-foot octagon at the UFC Apex.

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