Dana White is buying a PRIVATE ISLAND to host weekly UFC fights
UFC boss Dana White doesn't like taking no for an answer. The big fight UFC 249 fight card had to recently be cancelled after Khabib Nurmagomedov revealed he was unable to leave Russia because of the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown. However, despite having to cancel the evnt for safety reasons, and most of the world's sports having been cancelled, White has now claimed that he's "close to buying" a private island from where he will host UFC fights.
Speaking to TMZ Sports, White revealed that infrastructure is being 'worked on' on the private island to make it ready to host fights every week.
Sounds absolutely crazy right? Well, White has remained adamant that the sport must go on as the pandemic has led to travel restrictions and large gatherings have been banned.
"I'm a day or two away from securing a private island," White said in an interview with TMZ Sports. "We're getting the infrastructure put in place now. ...So as of April 18, the UFC is back up and running."
So far, White has said that Justin Gaethje will fight Tony Ferguson in UFC 249 on April 18 after Khabib pulled out.
The fight is signed and is 100% ON LIVE on ESPN somewhere on EARTH!!!! @TonyFergusonXT vs @Justin_Gaethje is LIVE on @espn+ PPV April 18th for the interim lightweight belt! pic.twitter.com/aH44zg5K30— danawhite (@danawhite) April 6, 2020
Nurmagomedov made his announcement on Instagram, telling his fans to “take care of yourself.”
"Staying home in quarantine and reading the reaction of people to the situation around my fight, it turns out that the whole world should be in quarantine, governments of all countries, famous people around the world urge people to follow all safety requirements in order to limit the spread of the disease, to save people, and Khabib is the only one relieved of all obligations and must demonstrate free will and train flying around the world, for the sake of fight?"
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Staying home in quarantine and reading the reaction of people to the situation around my fight, it turns out that the whole world should be in quarantine, governments of all countries, famous people around the world urge people to follow all safety requirements in order to limit the spread of the disease, to save people, and Khabib is the only one relieved of all obligations and must demonstrate free will and train flying around the world, for the sake of fight? - I understand everything and I’m definitely upset more than you to cancel the fight, probably like all others, I had many plans after the fight, but I can’t control it all. The greatest countries and the largest companies of our time are shocked by what is happening, every day the situation changes unpredictably. But Khabib still has to fight, is that what you saying? - Take care of yourself and put yourself in my shoes.
The event will be a closed door fight with no fans present and all athletes will be consistently tested and monitored for COVID-19.
However there is some scepticism around White and UFC going ahead with this fight.
So far, coronavirus has infected more than 1.3 million and more than 75,000 people have died.
While there's a drought of sporting events around the world right now, and this move will be welcomed by some sections of fans, and their viewership figures will be on the up and up, it begs the question is this really an ethical move?
As Bleacher Report said: "Unless the UFC tests everyone coming into the building and all those tests come back negative, there's a strong possibility the virus, which can be carried by someone without he or she knowing it, will be transmitted among fighters and coaches, regardless of anything else. But there's a larger issue, which is that this event may not convey the world's most effective message regarding staying apart and taking that seriously."
While there will be fans on either side of this arguement, our thoughts remains with the doctors, healthcare workers, victims and countless others who have been impacted by this pandemic.