As several leagues consider plans to hold games in isolated stadiums without fans, UFC president Dana White is apparently taking things a step further.
White told TMZ on Monday that he is “a day or two away” from securing a deal to hold UFC events, including UFC 249 on April 18, on an undisclosed private island, with fighters flying in on private planes.
UFC’s coronavirus solution: Fight Island
The deal will reportedly give the UFC use of the island for two months, with events every week. White added that he’s planning to eventually move in infrastructure to host events with international fighters, in order to avoid another Khabib Nurmagomedov situation.
No fans will be in attendance at island fights, and White said that every person involved — fighters, trainers, referees, production staff — will be thoroughly screened before and after the events.
The news came soon after the announcement of UFC 249’s reformed card, which will be headlined by an interim lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje.
“As of April 18, the UFC is back up and running,” White said to TMZ.
As far as coronavirus solutions go ... this is a new one. The NBA, MLB and English Premier League have all reportedly discussed, with varying progress, the idea of holding games or matches in isolated stadiums as the coronavirus pandemic continues to shut down the sports world.
However, the stadiums in mind are all essentially training areas already used by the leagues, not a freaking private island.
White himself has fought tooth and nail to hold UFC events despite the pandemic, but three events — scheduled to take place in the U.S. and London — have already been canceled. White even tried to hold an event at a Native American casino in Oklahoma, until his friend President Donald Trump publicly advised against gatherings in the country larger than 10 people.
Next up for cancellation was UFC 249, and White apparently wasn’t going to let that happen, even if it had already lost Nurmagomedov.
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