UFC Fight Island: What Is It, and Where Is It?

After briefly postponing future events in the spring of 2019 due to the coronavirus outbreak, UFC CEO Dana White wasted no time getting the world’s biggest fighting league back on track, promising that the UFC would be the sport’s first action and that he was preparing a private “Fight Island” as a venue for future fights. White has delivered on the first promise, and now the second promise will finally be fulfilled on Saturday, January 23rd, when MMA all-star Conor McGregor returns to the Octagon to face Dustin Poirier in a rematch at UFC 257 – the first event in the of the newly built Etihad Arena on Yas Island, United Arab Emirates.

The UFC schedule has been in flux since April last year, when the ongoing public health crisis resulted in Dana White reluctantly postponing further fighting. However, that did not last long; UFC 249 occurred about a month after its initial postponement, and the normal schedule has more or less continued since then. By now, UFC Fight Island – which White had hinted at last year – was finally fully functional, and UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor 2 is officially slated to be the first show to take place at the new venue. For the first time since last March, a limited audience will also be there.

UFC Fight Island is actually not an isolated island in itself, but is located on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Yas Island is already home to many popular tourist attractions. In recent months, part of the island has been completely rebuilt to make UFC Fight Island a new venue with a beach octagon and other facilities for fighters and train staff. UFC 251 is a fitting event to be the first on Fight Island too, with two championship bouts on the main map and big names like Kamaru Usman, Jorge Masvidal, Max Holloway, Alexander Volkanovski and Jose Aldo.

If you’re wondering how to watch UFC online without wires, ESPN + is a must. This premium streaming service is the best way to stream the live MMA events (along with reruns, analysis, interviews, press conferences, etc.) thanks to the sports broadcaster’s close relationship with the UFC. ESPN + is also the only place to watch pay-per-view shows like UFC 257 on January 23rd.

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