Since being able to return to Las Vegas, the UFC has been able to hold events without a hitch. Fighters are used to the Nevada atmosphere and a smaller cage has resulted in exciting outcomes. All of that will change when fighters head to “Fight Island” next week for UFC 251.
“Fight Island” will be taking place on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. According to Yahoo Sports, the area will have the normal 30-foot octagon for fights, insisted of the 25-foot ones that have been used inside the UFC’s APEX Center. An octagon for training will be outside, but there will be an octagon inside an infrastructure dedicated for four nights of fights.
The “Safe Zone” that will protect the fighters and UFC personnel from the outside world in wake of the coronavirus pandemic will include an arena, gold course, and beach. A huge difference in how events will be handled is the idea that five COVID-19 tests will be administered to everyone competing on the cards. This will be before, during, and after fights.
“One of the reasons we’re doing so much testing on the front end is so that we want to do whatever we can to make sure no one tests positive once they’re there,” said Lawrence Epstein, the UFC’s COO. “But we will have that dedicated area ready in case we have any positive tests.”
What about fans? It was previously reported that all events will be closed off to non-essential personnel. Epstein, however, stated that there is a possibility that a small number of VIP guests could attend the events. It would most likely be limited to two dozen people, but it is unsure how that would work. As of now, pro wrestling has managed to have a limited number of fans at the shows, as long as they are tested.
UFC 251 takes place on July 11 and will follow with events on the 15th, 18th, and 25th.