News | International
7 Aug 2020 3:22
NZCity News
NZCity CalculatorReturn to NZCity

  • Start Page
  • Personalise
  • Sport
  • Weather
  • Finance
  • Shopping
  • Jobs
  • Horoscopes
  • Lotto Results
  • Photo Gallery
  • Site Gallery
  • TVNow
  • Dating
  • SearchNZ
  • NZSearch
  • Crime.co.nz
  • RugbyLeague
  • Make Home
  • About NZCity
  • Contact NZCity
  • Your Privacy
  • Advertising
  • Login
  • Join for Free

  •   Home > News > International

    UFC's Fight Island to showcase Australian champion Alexander Volkanovski

    Some of the UFC's biggest names, including Australian champion Alexander Volkanovski, are isolated on an island in Abu Dhabi and about to go hell for leather in the octagon.


    When NRL Island was floated by Project Apollo as one of the ways to get the footy back on track during the coronavirus shutdown, it was justifiably seen as a bit of a joke.

    Gilligan, Lord of the Flies, some too-real stuff about what rugby league players could get up to away from the prying eyes of the mainland … every version of every quip was made.

    Ultimately it wasn't required, but the UFC is making it a reality.

    On Sunday, some of the mixed martial arts world's biggest names will square up on "Fight Island" for UFC 251.

    What is 'Fight Island'?

    It very much does what it says on the tin. It's an island, where there will be fighting.

    The UFC reached an agreement with Abu Dhabi to hold its most recent event on Yas Island, which is home to luxury hotels, beaches, a Formula One circuit and a golf course.

    You may also have seen shots of an octagon on the beach, but that, according to the UFC, was built solely "for the fighters' enjoyment" (read: for promotional images). And that's probably a good thing, considering temperatures are expected to nudge 50 degrees Celsius on Sunday.

    "Pulling off what the fantasy of Fight Island was, is pretty tough, and I think it would look like shit on TV, too," UFC president Dana White said.

    The real fights will be held in the air-conditioned Flash Forum, where luminaries such as The Wiggles have performed and the UFC has hosted previous events, as far back as 2010 and as recently as last September.

    An 11-kilometre stretch of the island has been cordoned off as a "safe zone" for the fighters and crew, with employees required to quarantine for 14 days in Yas hotels and undergo three tests in the lead-up.

    "Innovative 'mist tunnels' — 1.5-metre passageways on entry to the venue — have been added to sanitise everyone entering, with the mist killing 99 per cent of surface bacteria," Abu Dhabi's Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT) said.

    The whole "safe zone", according to the DCT, took 350 tonnes of steel and 18 kilometres of cables to build.

    While the employees on the island have had to quarantine for two weeks, the fighters touched down in the UAE just a couple of days ago and the UFC said they were tested on take-off, landing, two days after arrival and will be tested once again before the fight.

    After Sunday's bouts, there are at least three more fight nights slated on the island over the next two weeks.

    How did we get here?

    Three months ago, White was bragging about how his organisation was going to be the first sport to come back after COVID-19 started shutting down the world.

    In reality, the sport stopped for almost two months, from March 15 to May 10, despite White's repeated insistence that they would have events through April.

    Even so, Fight Island was on June 10 confirmed as the ninth UFC event since the shutdown.

    All of them have gone ahead with strict health and safety measures in place, and no crowds.

    The island idea was first mentioned back in early April, when White said he secured a location and the infrastructure was being built.

    It was initially supposed to be a measure to ensure international fighters could get in the ring and to avoid, in White's words, "smoking all the talent in the United States".

    Who's fighting?

    There are three belts up for grabs on Sunday, with Australian featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski among the fighters.

    He's scheduled for a rematch with Max Holloway after beating the American back in December to become the sport's first Australian-born champion.

    That precedes the main event: a welterweight title bout between Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal.

    Highlighting the dangers of an event like this in the middle of a pandemic, Masvidal himself wasn't even supposed to be fighting in UFC 251, only getting a shot after Brazil's Gilbert Burns tested positive for coronavirus last week. Then Masvidal's coach tested positive, meaning he couldn't make the trip.

    The other title fight is between Russian Petr Yan and Brazilian Jose Aldo for the bantamweight belt.

    Elsewhere on the main card, Rose Namajunas is taking on Jessica Andrade in the strawweight division, and flyweights Paige Vanzant and Amanda Ribas face off.

    © 2020 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved


     Other International News
     06 Aug: Hiroshima's atomic bomb changed Koko Kondo's life, but so did meeting the man who dropped it
     06 Aug: Could we cure coronavirus?
     06 Aug: Victims of Beirut's explosion begin sifting through the rubble as hundreds of thousands face homelessness
     06 Aug: I have reported from Lebanon for years. What I saw at the Beirut port after the blast was total devastation
     06 Aug: Lebanon's banking, economic and political systems were already under threat before the explosion. Here's why
     06 Aug: Think you know if US President Donald Trump will be re-elected? Or who Joe Biden should pick as VP? Here's what you said
     06 Aug: Is Donald Trump going to win the election? A Joe Biden wildcard is about to enter the race
     Top Stories

    RUGBY RUGBY
    Eight losses on the trot, but Chiefs coach Warren Gatland hasn't lost his sense of humour More...


    BUSINESS BUSINESS
    The Government's giving 30 million dollars to build a high performance sports hub in Upper Hutt More...



     Today's News

    Golf:
    Jordan Spieth's determined to complete his career grand slam this week 21:57

    Entertainment:
    Orlando Bloom is hoping his desperate search to find his missing dog has proven to his fiancée Katy Perry how much love he has in his heart 21:44

    Accident and Emergency:
    A pedestrian has died after being hit by a car on State Highway 1 in Hikurangi, Whangarei 21:17

    Entertainment:
    Ashley James is expecting a baby boy 21:14

    Entertainment:
    Jonathan Cheban has allegedly been robbed at gunpoint 20:44

    International:
    Hiroshima's atomic bomb changed Koko Kondo's life, but so did meeting the man who dropped it 20:27

    Entertainment:
    Khloe Kardashian and Tristan Thompson are “very much together” 20:14

    Entertainment:
    Ashley Graham believes “mommy-shaming” on social media is “out of control” 19:44

    International:
    Could we cure coronavirus? 19:17

    Entertainment:
    Chloe Bridges knew Adam Devine was “the one” after their first “disagreement” 19:14


     News Search






    Power Search


    © 2020 New Zealand City Ltd