UFC president Dana White hasn’t yet said when another run on Fight Island will happen, but rest assured, it is going to happen. And while the first stint in Abu Dhabi was four events over a 15-day period (about a three to four-week period with travel and prep time), White intends for the UFC’s next run on Yas Island to be somewhere around five to six weeks.
It also sounds as if UFC 253, which features middleweight champion Israel Adesanya defending against Paulo Costa in the main event, is likely to land on Fight Island.
White was a bit elusive about confirming the bout for the next trip to Abu Dhabi, but didn’t deny it either.
“I told you guys we were going back to Abu Dhabi,” he said when asked about Adesanya vs. Costa’s location. “I think this next run in Abu Dhabi will be five or six weeks.”
That followed an earlier interview with Complex, in which he stated, “Yeah, we’ll be announcing (Adesanya vs. Costa) soon, but it’s looking like Fight Island. A lot of the big fights that are international are gonna be on Fight Island.
“I told everybody last time we were there – people sort of thought this was a one-and-done or whatever, it’s not – Abu Dhabi is gonna end up being the fight capital of the world. It definitely isn’t Las Vegas.”
White also reaffirmed his intent to purchase a home in Abu Dhabi, believing that the UFC will be operating events there often enough that it would be more comfortable for him to have his own residence there.
The delay in announcing whether or not UFC 253 would be held on Fight Island could simply be timing of marketing or perhaps the UFC is still working out details with Abu Dhabi for a second run on Yas Island. But whatever the determining factor, White is certain that the UFC will return to Fight Island soon.
“I do (when the UFC will return to Abu Dhabi), but when the time comes, I’ll announce it.”
Dana White talks Fight Island, Contender Series, UFC rankings, and more
(Video courtesy of Complex)