Despite the fact that UFC 249 and all future events for the UFC were postponed, Dana White is determined that “Fight Island” will be a reality.
In an interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Dana discussed the idea of putting on events outside the United States. The island, which has remained confidential throughout this entire process, would help international fighters who are unable to travel to specific areas around the world. Once the news of events getting the axe was confirmed, Dana made sure to state there was an alternative.
“That’s why I’m telling all my guys not to worry because ‘Fight Island’ is going to happen,” White stated. “All the infrastructure is being built right now and getting put in place. As we get closer to that, then I’ll start figuring out booking fights, getting guys ready. Plus, I can ship guys over there earlier, and they can start training over there, on the island.
“So, once that’s all in place, we’re looking at like a month, I’ll have that all put together, and guys can start training and can go there. I’m sure people are going to be ready to get out of their houses in another month and go to an island somewhere and train.”
The UFC was ready to host events inside Tachi Palace, a Native American casino in Lemoore, California, before everything got shut down. California Governor Gavin Newsom ended up calling Disney officials directly expressing concerns over the UFC holding events in the wake of the coronavirus. This was after a number of entities, including the Association Of Ringside Physicians and U.S. Senator of California Diane Feinstein called for UFC 249 to not take place.
The location and method to get to “Fight Island” continues to be a secret. Although Dana was cut off in America, he made it clear that the UFC would be the first to return to business as usual.
“We will be the first sport back,” White went on to say. “‘Fight Island’ is real, it is a real thing. The infrastructure is being built right now and that’s really going to happen. It will be on ESPN.”
When events are scheduled to take place inside the United States again, Dana stated that Tachi Palace will hold one of the first events back. He praised the location for being accommodating and almost bringing a sense of normalcy to the world.