Whilst all the global major sports leagues have been running into barricade after barricade with their agreements on getting their respective leagues back underway, the UFC has been pretty much non-stop ever since the COVID-19 pandemic started as they’ve held multiple events in multiple venues whilst they try to entertain people through these tough times.
Well, with what Dana White announced on Tuesday, it definitely looks like the UFC is picking up the pace with fight cards as he went onto First Take and announced all the details surrounding the highly anticipated Fight Island event.
Fight Island will start from 11th July and will run for 4 fight cards until 25th July, with cards in between those two dates taking place on the 15th and 18th. Fight Island will be taking place on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, with the island playing host to an arena, training facilities for fighters, a hotel, dining establishments, and a safety zone in which only the fighters, coaches, UFC staff and limited personnel will be permitted to enter. A training octagon has also been set up on the beach on the island and I almost wanted that octagon to be the one they use for fights, even though that’s completely unrealistic.
The first fight card, which will be taking place on 11th July, will be the UFC 251 pay-per-view event and will be headlined by a welterweight championship match between champion Kamaru Usman and rising contender Gilbert Burns. Burns is coming off a phenomenal run that recently saw him dismantle former welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley, over 5 rounds, something his opponent and current welterweight champion Kamaru Usman produced when he won the title. The card will also see featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski take on Max Holloway in a rematch to the title fight where Volkanovski took the belt from long-time reigning champion Holloway.
There’s a third title fight on the 251 PPV card and it’s for the vacant bantamweight championship. The belt has been vacated ever since former champion Henry Cejudo shockingly retired after beating Dominick Cruz. Petr Yan and Jose Aldo are the two fighters that will do battle for the vacant belt, an interesting matchup that many UFC fans saw coming but feel it’s the wrong one to make. The females round off the main card with Jessica Andrade vs Rose Namajunas, in a rematch between the top 2 ranked strawweight contenders and the return of Paige VanZant finishes the card as she takes on Amanda Ribas at flyweight.
All other cards during the fight island event are yet to be announced and the prelims for the 251 PPV card are also yet to be announced. This isn’t the first time the UFC has featured a card over on Yas Island, they were over there in September of last year for Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Dustin Poirier as part of the 5-year-deal they made to feature annual cards over there.
One more fight was announced for the future after Fight Island and that’s the highly anticipated trilogy fight between heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier for the heavyweight title. In the first fight, Cormier took the belt from Miocic but Miocic exacted revenge in the second fight to take his belt back. This was a fight that needed to happen as the heavyweight division was being held back due to Stipe not being able to compete due to him being a first responder and his state laws forcing his gym to be closed, not allowing him to have a proper training camp.
The fight will take place on the 15th August and will headline the UFC 252 pay-per-view event, a location has yet to be announced for the fight and no other fights have been added to the card as of yet. We still have 3 fight cards to look forward to this month before heading to Fight Island, so make sure you’re following our coverage of every fight card and breaking news when it happens!
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports