After a few months of what appeared to be a slow return to normalcy, the world is once again faced with a new threat from COVID-19. The much more contagious Delta variant has caused a recent surge of cases around the world. It’s also the most dominant variant in the US, accounting for 83% of cases in the country, as of late July.
Despite this looming threat, the UFC is looking to continue its streak of packed live events that began in April. This weekend in Texas (one of the states with the biggest COVID surges), UFC 265 will take place at the Toyota Center in Houston, which is already predicted to be a sell-out despite losing its scheduled co-main event title fight between Amanda Nunes and Juliana Peña.
And should there be a new wave of COVID-related shutdowns, UFC president Dana White remains undaunted.
“Whatever happens in this crazy world we’re living in right now, I don’t give a sh-t,” White told UFC Arabia’s Farah Hannoun. “Whatever happens, happens. I’m ready for anything now. A year ago, a year and a half ago, whatever it was, we’d never faced anything like this, figured it out.
“I’m good now for whatever gets thrown at us. Whatever happens.”
This air of confidence stems from what’s looking like a new long-term partnership with Abu Dhabi for “Fight Island” events. White didn’t reveal any specifics, but he’s optimistic, to say the least.
“I’m excited. I’m gonna go to Abu Dhabi here, soon, within the next 30 days,” he said. “And hopefully, when I leave there, this time, I can lay out to the media… I’ll hold a press conference and show everybody what’s next for Fight Island and Abu Dhabi over the next 5-10 years.”
So far, the only official Fight Island card for 2021 is UFC 267, which takes place on October 30th. Scheduled to headline the event is the light heavyweight title fight between Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira. The co-headliner is the bantamweight championship rematch between Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan.