By Zain Bando
After a month-long stretch of seven consecutive events, the UFC enters a unique territory. Starting July 11 and finishing at the end of the month, the MMA leader will travel to Yas Island at the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi.
Previously, the promotion held events during May and June at the UFC Apex, a makeshift arena next to the company headquarters that allowed the UFC to host events without spectators during the ongoing global pandemic. Dubbed Fight Island, the UFC will transition to a similar arena, featuring a 10-mile radius that will contain a beach, restaurants, training gyms, and hotel rooms to house 48 fighters during a four-week stretch. The first event on the island is UFC 251, headlined by Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns for the welterweight title.
Additionally, the UFC has created a detailed COVID-19 protocol that fighters are mandated to follow in order to compete.
The plan will include four rounds of pre-fight testing, including multiple quarantines, and an additional post-fight test. Because of various travel ban restrictions, the promotion will provide flights out of four hub cities, which include Sao Paulo, London, Las Vegas, and Moscow.
Outside of the pay-per-view event July 11, the remaining events, which are scheduled for July 15, 18, and 25, will all be broadcast exclusively on ESPN and ESPN+.
Photo By BjPenn.com