There have been many cancellations of potential bouts in 2020, and perhaps the biggest setback has been the absence of UFC’s International Fight Week.
Considered Dana White’s brainchild, The International Fight Week (IFW) is an annual one-week extravaganza wherein activities like parties, fan interaction, media days, and other mini-events related to entertainment are organized along with fight nights and pay-per-view cards.
It is widely seen as an annual attraction and generates a lot of revenue for the promotion.
It also gives an opportunity for athletes and celebrities from other disciplines along with fans to get up close and personal with the UFC fighters.
Dana White has also used this platform to cater to his close associates and close out numerous big-money deals in the past.
The past few years have seen the IFW being capped off with UFC 213 and UFC 226.
This year’s IFW was scheduled to be held from July 7th – 12th but had to be canceled due to the pandemic.
However, Dana White is planning to bring back the extravaganza and if everything goes to plan, the IFW will take place in January 2021 - in a new home!
On Thursday, Conor McGregor signed a bout agreement making his expected rematch with Dustin Poirer official for January 23, 2021. While the event does not have an officially designated location, White would like it to take place on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi - with all the works accompanying it.
“I’m looking to make it[Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier 2] International Fight Week,” White told Barstool Sports.
“The new Etihad Arena will be open, and that thing was designed with us in mind. Concerts, pool parties, all kinds of cool stuff. And, yes, I hope to bring fans back. … That’s what I’m shooting for.”
Dana White wants a ‘Fight Island’ version of International Fight Week
Further in his interview Dana White mentioned that he would like the IFW to have three events with one on a Saturday, Wednesday, and then the next Saturday.
As per the current UFC schedule, the Max Holloway – Calvin Kattar headlined Fight Night is scheduled for January 16th which is a week before UFC 257.
Dana White also expressed an interest in having fans back in the arena for the event which may be the biggest news to come out of the interview.
Whether Dana White with his dedicated team can pull off the near-impossible remains to be seen.
But as he has shown in the past, if someone has the vision and will to do it, it’s the UFC president.Published 20 Nov 2020, 17:37 IST