The Ultimate Fighting Championship will finally raise its curtain for the much-awaited UFC Fight Island and its first line-up is looking absolutely stacked.
Following weeks of speculations, UFC president Dana White confirmed on Tuesday that his massive project will begin next month in United Arab Emirates.
“We came up with the idea of having fights on ‘Fight Island’ because we needed a destination to hold international events during the global pandemic,” White said on ESPN’s First Take.
“Abu Dhabi has been an amazing location to hold fights over the past 10 years, and it is the perfect place for these events.”
“The infrastructure we are building will be such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the fighters that’s never been done before — from the arena, the private training facility, and the Octagon on the island, it’s going to be an experience that none of us will ever forget. I can’t wait to deliver amazing fights from Yas island.”
— danawhite (@danawhite) June 9, 2020
Three Title Fights
The UFC’s fifth pay-per-view event will be headlined by a welterweight title fight featuring Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns.
The Brazilian fighter earned a shot at the UFC gold, following a dominant win against former champion Tyron Woodley at UFC Las Vegas.
In the co-main event, Alexander Volkanovski is set to defend the featherweight championship for the first time in a rematch against former titlist, Max Holloway. The featherweight rivals fought to a five-round contest in December 2019, with the Australian fighter pulling off a one-sided win.
Meanwhile, Petr Yan and Jose Aldo will fight for the vacant bantamweight belt after Henry Cejudo vacated the title due to retirement.
The chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, Mr Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, said: “Our partnership with the UFC, now in its second year, has proved to be one of our most successful ventures in recent years. Thanks to their commitment and cooperation, we are proud to announce that Abu Dhabi will host the first-ever ‘Fight Island’ event, marking the long-awaited return of UFC fights to the global stage.”
Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns will headline UFC 251 on July 11 at Fight Island! pic.twitter.com/O0Lc405sJl
— Lewis Simpson MMA (@LGS_MMA) June 9, 2020
Check out the current line-up for the UFC 251 Fight Island below:
Kamaru Usman (C) vs. Gilbert Burns – for the welterweight title
Alexander Volkanovski (C) vs. Max Holloway – for the featherweight title
Jose Aldo vs. Petr Yan – for the vacant bantamweight title
Amanda Ribas vs. Paige VanZant
Frankie Edgar vs. Pedro Munhoz
Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Ciryl Gane
Volkan Oezdemir vs. Jiri Prochazka
— MaRCeL DoRFF 🇳🇱🇮🇩 (@BigMarcel24) June 9, 2020
(Featured Image Source: Instagram/ Jose Aldo, Gilbert Burns, Kamaru Usman, Alexander Volkanovski)