Dana White and the UFC realizes that with Nevada expected to go back into lockdown, they're going to need a back-up plan. While all of July's events have taken place at Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, UFC planned events in the Apex Center in Las Vegas for August.
As a result, UFC 252 and other events that were scheduled for the UFC Apex in Las Vegas are now in jeopardy. The back-up plan? Fight Island, of course. Dana White has been full of praise for how everything has been handled on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, going as far as telling The National that right now, Abu Dhabi is the fight capital of the world and not Las Vegas.
There is no denying that Fight Island was a draw in itself and likely played a big factor in the resounding success of UFC 251 - the most successful PPV since Conor McGregor vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 228.
Dana White has three blockbuster title fights planned for UFC Fight Island
Dana White told The National that there are three Blockbuster title fights planned for Fight Island in 2020. The first will be Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa at UFC 253 in September, and he stated that Khabib Nurmagomedov will be "next":
“Khabib will be the next. We’re talking about [middleweight champion] Israel Adesanya versus Paulo Costa, that fight happening. [Women’s strawweight champion] Weili Zhang versus Rose Namajunas is a possibility,” he said. “All the massive, big fights with literally the champion versus the No 1 contender are all looking like Fight Island Abu Dhabi.”
It's going to be interesting to see how the remainder of 2020 plays out. While UFC has undoubtedly lost millions in its live gate, the hype behind Fight Island, as well as being the first to bring back sports during the pandemic, has helped generate a new global fanbase.
These are three exciting fights and they're only a few of many to come in 2020. If COVID-19 prevents the return of crowds for the remainder of the year, expect Fight Island to host many more events.Published 21 Jul 2020, 18:45 IST