Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 15 July 2020

UFC

UFC Fight Island: Glimpse inside safe zone as octagon gets built on the beach

25-kilometre special area created for historic event on Yas

An octagon being built on the beach at Yas Island, a picture posted by Dana White on Twitter.
An octagon being built on the beach at Yas Island, a picture posted by Dana White on Twitter.

UFC president Dana White has released the first picture taken of Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, and yes, it’s an octagon on a beach.

The historic four-event series was announced for Yas Island earlier this month, beginning with a stacked UFC 251 on July 12, before shows on July 16, 19 and 26.

However, while White’s social media post early Sunday showed an octagon being constructed on Yas Beach, it’s worth remembering the actual fights will take place at the nearby Flash Forum.

For the series, a 25-kilometre “safe zone” on Yas Island has been created, housing only the fighters, their coaches, UFC staff, select media and those deemed essential to Fight Island’s operation.

On Thursday, The National obtained a copy of the international delegate guide, which outlines the protocols to be implemented for those travelling to the Emirates and on to the safe zone. It includes extensive testing for Covid-19.

UFC 251 will feature three title fights, headlined by Kamaru Usman defending his welterweight crown against teammate Gilbert Burns.

Also on the main card, Alexander Volkanovski puts his featherweight belt on the line in a rematch with former champion Max Holloway, while Petr Jan and Jose Aldo clash for the vacant bantamweight title.

The other Fight Island cards are headlined by Calvin Kattar taking on Dan Ige on July 16, Deiveson Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez battling for the vacant flyweight title three days later, while the much-anticipated bout between Robert Whittaker and Darren Till leads the way on July 26.

Updated: June 30, 2020 02:43 PM

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