The MMA world was taken by surprise when Dana White revealed his plans of securing a private island for future UFC events. The UFC president was vague about the details at the time, but in an exclusive conversation with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto on Thursday, he gave a little bit more information about it’s timeframe.
“That’s why I am telling all of my guys not to worry, because fight island’s gonna happen,” White said. “All the infrastructure’s being built right now and getting put in place. As we get closer to that, then I’ll start figuring out booking fights, getting guys ready. Plus, I can ship guys over there earlier, and they can start training over there in the island.
“Once that’s all in place, you’re looking at, like, a month? A month, I’ll have that all put together, and guys can start training and can go there. I’m sure people are ready to get out of their houses in another month and go to an island somewhere and train.
It’s all coming together. It’s all gonna happen,” he confidently said. “I could go next week, but this is what it is, and I’ll see you in a month.”
As the entire mainstream sports world took a pause amid the pandemic, White was hellbent on pushing through with UFC 249, which ended up being cancelled. It is this go-getter attitude which he says birthed the idea of the fight island.
“I don’t believe that anything cannot be done,” White said. “Everything can be done under any type of circumstance, you just need to figure out how to get it done. And that has always been my mentality.
“So if we got a place set up here in the United States, and we were just running fights out of the US with no international (fights), this is a global business that we have here. We keep running you just US fights, we’ll smoke all the talent before we even get back to normal.
“So we have to run both, international and local fights. We got the local fights figured out, how do we run international? So Ari (Emanuel) and I came up with the island.”
White already promised to be the first sport to be back once the dust settles, which he expects to happen sooner than later.