mma / News

UFC Fight Island Events Set for Next Month at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island, Usman vs. Burns Slated to Headline UFC 251

June 9, 2020 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
UFC Fight Island, UFC 251, Jorge Masvidal

UFC Fight Island is real, or rather, UFC Fight Island is now official. The fight promotion unveiled all the details on UFC Fight Island today, with four events slated for Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island from July 11 to July 25, including UFC 251.

The upcoming four events will consist of UFC 251 and three UFC Fight Night cards. They kick off with UFC 251 on July 11. This will be followed by three Fight Night cards on Wednesday, July 15; Saturday, July 18, and Saturday, July 25. Details on the events and the fight lineups will be announced in the coming weeks.

According to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns for Usman’s UFC welterweight title will be the main event for UFC 251 on July 11.

To deal with the existing public health guidelines, DCT Abu Dhabi will create a safety zone within the 10 square mile Yas Island that will include an arena, hotel, training facilities, and dining areas. The safety zone will be available to UFC athletes and their coaches; UFC staff and event personnel; and Yas Island employees who will be assisting with the facility operations.

HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi stated on the announcement: “Our partnership with the UFC, now in its second year, has proved to be one of our most successful ventures in recent years. Thanks to their commitment and cooperation, we are proud to announce that Abu Dhabi will host the first ever “Fight Island” event, marking the long-awaited return of UFC fights to the global stage.”

He added: “We have worked closely with all government entities in Abu Dhabi to ensure that the staging of this historic event complies with the highest standards of safety for the athletes, coaches, and all UFC personnel as well as the safety of our community. This year, Abu Dhabi has successfully proven its ability to handle all challenges and promote the well-being of its visitors and residents; and today, we are here to showcase the best that our capital has to offer, as we look forward to opening our doors once again to the world.”

UFC President Dana White stated in the official press release: “We came up with the idea of having fights on ‘Fight Island’ because we needed a destination to hold international events during the global pandemic. Abu Dhabi has been an amazing location to hold fights over the past ten years and it is the perfect place for these events. The infrastructure we are building will be such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the fighters that’s never been done before – from the arena, the private training facility, and the Octagon on the island – it’s going to be an experience that none of us will ever forget. I can’t wait to deliver amazing fights from Yas island.”

The UFC Fight Island events will air live on ESPN and ESPN+ and on pay-per-view in select markets. Also, Dana White released the following promo clip on the Fight Island events: