For the past three months, the COVID-19 crisis has created chaos in the world of Mixed Martial Arts and closed down every sporting event. For the UFC, the introduction of social distancing meant that the company lost millions in revenue. But the one thing that differentiates the UFC from other sports organizations is the manager, Dana White. The no-nonsense personality, first tried to work out deals with many other states to hold fights even without fans. But with a 100% rejection rate, he did what he had to do. He bought an island off the coast of Abu Dhabi, just a few weeks ago. The ‘Fight’ island known officially as YAS island now belongs to the UFC under a 5-year contract, and Dana is determined to make sure that fights happen without interference from any other governments or health authorities. At the same time, he has taken steps to ensure that proper types of testing and isolation procedures will be in effect. Fighters will stay at dedicated hotels, eat at recommended restaurants, and fight under strict rules. The UFC has already administered more than 2000 tests over the past week.
The octagon is ready for the fights starting July 11, 2020, under massive security to keep things safe. To get the island ready for MMA, it took over 400,000 man-hours and 350 tons of metal.
So what does this say for the future of Las Vegas as the home of UFC fights? So far, Dana has not said much. But the COVID-19 crisis has not abated, and some experts feel that it may linger on for a few more years. So for now, it looks like we will be watching fights from Fight Island on TV.