While the UFC has established a secret plan to hold UFC 249 at a undisclosed location as a closed-door event due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, company president Dana White claims the promotion has a wild plan to keep fights going weekly after the April 18 event. White says the UFC is in the process of securing a private island at which they will host events, flying fighters in and out weekly to participate.
“I am a day or two away from securing a private island,” White told TMZ. “I have a private island that I’ve secured; we’re getting the infrastructure put in now, so I’m gonna start doing the international fights, too. With international fighters, because I won’t be able to get international fighters into the U.S., I have a private island that I’m gonna start flying them all in and doing international fights from there. So as of April 18th, the UFC is back up and running.”
White has remained defiant as the pandemic has led to travel restrictions and limitations placed on large gatherings. While he vowed the planned UFC 249 main event between lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and challenger Tony Ferguson would move forward, the champ eventually returned to his home country of Russia with the promotion unable to tell him where the fight would be held. That led the UFC to change the main event to Ferguson against fellow top lightweight contender Justin Gaethje for the interim title.
Wherever UFC 249 takes place, it appears White and the UFC will take even more extreme measures to ensure the company can truck along while other sporting organizations have gone into full shutdown mode.
“We have all our own planes and everything,” White said of the logistics. “They’re gonna fly into the island, get the fighters.”
Those logistics could prove difficult as a 12-fight card would include having to fly 24 fighters, their cornermen, production crew, referees, judges, UFC staff, a catering crew and many others in and out of the island for each event.