If you didn’t fully grasp just how desperate Dana White is to run UFC fights amid the coronavirus pandemic, you will now.
Not only is UFC 249 set to happen on April 18, but White says he is getting a private island so he can run fights every week, including with international fighters who currently cannot enter the US because of travel restrictions.
“I’m a day or two away from securing a private island. I have a private island that I’ve secured,” the UFC president told TMZ. “We’re getting the infrastructure put in now, so I’m gonna start doing the international fights too with international fighters. I won’t be able to get international fighters, all of them, into the US, so I have a private island. I’m gonna start flying them all into the private island and start doing international fights from there.
“So as of April 18, the UFC is back up and running.”
White has yet to disclose the location for UFC 249, though ESPN reported it would be somewhere on the West Coast. White says UFC is “setting up shop” at that first venue for two months and will be “pumping out fights every week” before moving on to the island. These events will not be open to fans.
Despite all the risks, White insists everybody involved will be safe.
“We have all of our own planes and everything,” White said. “Everybody’s gonna be pre-tested and tested. We’re gonna make sure that 100 percent healthy athletes, healthy athletic-commission people, healthy judges, referees, my production people. Everybody, there is gonna be healthy. We’re gonna make sure everybody’s gonna be safe before, during and after the fights.”