UFC 251, first Fight Island card, features three championship bouts
UFC Fight Island is set for its premiere on July 11 and it is a doozy. UFC president Dana White joined ESPN's First Take on Tuesday to reveal that UFC 251 will feature three championship bouts on Yaz Island in Abu Dhabi.
"So, everybody has been dying to find out where Fight Island is, so today I'm here to announce that Fight Island is on Yaz Island in Abu Dhabi. Just like I said about Florida, how the commission and the government worked with us there to pull off this fight. Same thing with Abu Dhabi. These guys have been amazing partners in everything that we've ever done with them," White said in announcing Fight Island's location.
Fight Island's location isn't all that surprising considering the promotion's history with Abu Dhabi and the city's willingness to build facilities to fit what the UFC wanted in the past. Now they are doing it for an ongoing basis that will likely last until pandemic restrictions begin to lift for sports with live crowds around the globe.
The first fight card on Fight Island, UFC 251, is going all-in. White wanted to kick off the UFC's return from its two-month shutdown with three title fights at UFC 249, but was only able to keep two championship bouts on that card. He'll now get to move ahead with three at UFC 251, barring any unforeseen changes.
"We're going UFC 251, Saturday, July 11, in Abu Dhabi. And we literally just got (Gilbert) Burns vs. (Kamaru) Usman done. So that card: Usman vs. Burns, (Alexander) Volkanovski vs. (Max) Holloway, Peter Yan vs. (Jose) Aldo, Jessica Andrade vs. Rose Namajunas, and (Amanda) Ribas vs. (Paige) VanZant," White declared.
"The first card in Abu Dhabi is ridiculous. The second fight will be Wednesday, July 15; then Saturday, July 18; and then Saturday, July 25."
UFC 251 on Fight Island (Yaz Island, Abu Dhabi)
UFC Welterweight Championship: Kamaru Usman (c) vs. Gilbert Burns
UFC Featherweight Championship: Alexander Volkanovski (c) vs. Max Holloway
UFC Bantamweight Championship: Peter Yan vs. Jose Aldo
Jessica Andrade vs. Rose Namajunas
Amanda Ribas vs. Paige VanZant
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