Fight Island

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Fight Island
CoordinatesCoordinates: 24°30′04″N 54°36′34″E / 24.5012°N 54.6095°E / 24.5012; 54.6095

Fight Island is a series of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) mixed martial arts events held on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in 2020 and 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dana White stated that the events were intended as a workaround for travel restrictions tied to the COVID-19 pandemic, which had been preventing some international fighters from entering the United States. White initially referred to the proposed site as a "private island" or "fight island".[1][2]

Until 2021, all Fight Island events were held behind closed doors in the du Forum; a bio-secure bubble was established, which consisted of a "safe zone" comprising hotels, training facilities, the beach, and restaurants. In fact the whole concept was closed for the public and the services were available exclusively to the athletes and the staff, save for the limited attendance that was permitted by the UFC.[3] All participants and staff were required to test negative for SARS-CoV-2 multiple times before traveling to or entering the bubble, and individuals entering the arena were required to go through disinfecting "mist tunnels".[4]

John Oliver suggested on Last Week Tonight that the name "Fight Island" was inspired by a suggestion made by a TMZ reporter one week before the trademark was filed.[5] Shortly after Oliver had suggested various alternative names for the island including "UF-Sea",[6] Zuffa registered "UFSEA" as a trademark.[7]

Beginning with UFC on ABC: Holloway vs. Kattar on January 16, 2021, the UFC moved its Fight Island events to Yas Island's newly-opened Etihad Arena, capped at 2,000 of its 18,000-seat capacity. They were the first UFC events open to the public since the onset of the pandemic.[8][9][10]

Events[edit]

Event Date Venue Ref.
UFC 251: Usman vs. Masvidal Jul 12, 2020 du Forum [11]
UFC on ESPN: Kattar vs. Ige Jul 16, 2020 [12]
UFC Fight Night: Figueiredo vs. Benavidez 2 Jul 19, 2020 [13]
UFC on ESPN: Whittaker vs. Till Jul 26, 2020 [14]
UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa Sep 27, 2020 [15]
UFC on ESPN: Holm vs. Aldana Oct 4, 2020 [16]
UFC Fight Night: Moraes vs. Sandhagen Oct 11, 2020 [17]
UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. The Korean Zombie Oct 18, 2020 [18]
UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje Oct 24, 2020 [19]
UFC on ABC: Holloway vs. Kattar Jan 16, 2021 Etihad Arena [20]
UFC on ESPN: Chiesa vs. Magny Jan 20, 2021 [21]
UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor 2 Jan 24, 2021 [22]
UFC 267: Błachowicz vs. Teixeira Oct 30, 2021

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Steven Marrocco (2020-04-07). "Dana White's COVID-19 plan: Two months of weekly fights at UFC 249 location, a private island, and Joe Rogan". MMAFighting.com. Vox Media. Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  2. ^ Brett Okamoto (2020-04-07). "UFC's White: Secured private island for fights". ESPN. Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  3. ^ Robert M. (2021-05-13). "UFC Fight Island: Everything You Need to Know". Way of Martial Arts. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  4. ^ Ben Collins (2020-07-10). "UFC 251: 'Beautiful, surreal, insane' - what's Fight Island really like?". BBC Sport.
  5. ^ Last Week Tonight. HBO. 2020-05-31. Event occurs at 27:05. He only filed for the Fight Island trademark a week after a TMZ reporter suggested to him that he call it that.
  6. ^ Cassandra Negley (2020-05-18). "John Oliver takes aim at UFC's 'Fight Island'; Dana White calls it 'selective facts'". Yahoo Sports.
  7. ^ "UFSEA". 2020-05-19. Archived from the original on 2020-12-14. Retrieved 2020-12-14. Serial Number: 88924037, filing Date: May 19, 2020, Owner Name: Zuffa, LLC Owner Address: 6650 South Torrey Pines Drive Las Vegas, NEVADA UNITED STATES 89118
  8. ^ "Etihad Arena lists official COVID-19 safety measures for fans at January UFC Fight Island shows". MMA Fighting. 2021-01-10. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  9. ^ Staff (2021-01-07). "Fans are back: UFC will have 'limited' attendance at three-card 'Fight Island' stint at Etihad Arena". MMA Junkie. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  10. ^ Newswire (2021-01-10). "Etihad Arena lists official COVID-19 safety measures for fans at January UFC Fight Island shows". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2021-01-11.
  11. ^ "UFC 251: Jorge Masvidal and Kamaru Usman make weight for title fight". www.sportingnews.com. Retrieved 2020-07-12.
  12. ^ Dawson, Alan (2020-07-15). "The Kattar vs. Ige main event for the UFC's next 'Fight Island' card is so good it could be the Fight of the Year, an analyst said". businessinsideraustralia. Retrieved 2020-07-17.
  13. ^ Alan Dawson. "An MMA veteran has one last shot at the UFC title but fights a guy who has already KO'd him once, and is determined to do it again". Insider. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  14. ^ Andreas Hale (2020-07-25). "What time is UFC Fight Night? Robert Whittaker vs. Darren Till TV channel, live stream schedule, odds". dazn.com. Retrieved 2020-07-25.
  15. ^ Marc Williams (2020-09-14). "UFC schedule 2020: Every upcoming event including Israel Adesanya's UFC 253 fight in Abu Dhabi and Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje". talksport.com. Retrieved 2020-09-14.
  16. ^ Marc Williams (2020-09-14). "UFC schedule 2020: Every upcoming event including Israel Adesanya's UFC 253 fight in Abu Dhabi and Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje". talksport.com. Retrieved 2020-09-17.
  17. ^ Marc Williams (2020-09-14). "UFC schedule 2020: Every upcoming event including Israel Adesanya's UFC 253 fight in Abu Dhabi and Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje". talksport.com. Retrieved 2020-09-17.
  18. ^ Marc Williams (2020-09-14). "UFC schedule 2020: Every upcoming event including Israel Adesanya's UFC 253 fight in Abu Dhabi and Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje". talksport.com. Retrieved 2020-09-17.
  19. ^ Marc Williams (2020-09-14). "UFC schedule 2020: Every upcoming event including Israel Adesanya's UFC 253 fight in Abu Dhabi and Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje". talksport.com. Retrieved 2020-09-17.
  20. ^ Mike Bohn (2021-01-17). "UFC on ABC 1 post-event facts: Max Holloway's masterclass shatters all striking records". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  21. ^ Jeff Fox (2021-01-20). "UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs Magny fighter salaries, incentive pay & attendance". thesportsdaily.com. Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  22. ^ Staff (2021-01-24). "UFC 257 - Conor McGregor KO at the hands of Dustin Poirier leaves lightweight division in limbo". eurosport.com. Retrieved 2021-01-24.