According to reports, UFC president Dana White wants the world’s largest MMA promotion to host events on a private island. Per TMZ, White is in the process of securing a private island to act as the home base for the UFC.
UFC events won’t be taking place on the island for the next couple months, the idea is that once the deal is done, UFC fighters will be flown to the island via private planes to get ready to compete. It’s still unclear where the island is located.
UFC 249, which is still scheduled to take place on April 18th, will not take place on this island. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported that the fight cards for the following two months won’t either and that UFC 249 will take place somewhere in the western United States.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto said that the “private island idea is for international fighters, so not only the US based athletes have a spot to fight.”
Travel restrictions have been placed on many countries because of COVID-19. This has affected international fighters. UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov was going to have one of the biggest UFC fights of the year against Tony Ferguson but he is stuck in Russia because of the country’s cross-border travel ban as a result of coronavirus concerns.
Justin Gaethje, who is ranked No. 4 in the UFC lightweight division will replace Khabib and face Ferguson for the interim lightweight title. White tweeted the following reads: “The fight is signed and is 100% ON LIVE on ESPN somewhere on EARTH!! Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje is LIVE on ESPN+ PPV April 18th for the interim lightweight belt!”