Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White has set a date for the company's first "Fight Island" event after months of speculation.
The UFC is one of the only sports organizations continuing to have events while the worldwide pandemic is ongoing. The president had previously said during the health crisis that he hoped to open Fight Island, an undisclosed private piece of land that White purchased to host UFC events without having to adhere to strict state laws.
White was a guest on the June 3 episode of the YouTube series Talk the Talk with Eddie Hearn and Tony Bellew and discussed plans to host the island's first fight. Speaking with Hearn and Bellew via webcam, White appeared all excited to share the upcoming ideas with viewers and fans.
Wearing a simple, plain black T-shirt and appearing calm and comfortable, White outlined the anticipated date when the island would be ready to host its first event.
"Let me tell you about Fight Island. Fight Island is so f*cking expensive and so f*cking crazy and almost impossible to pull off," White said.
He explained a few details he had been working out, including booking flights for guests, workers, and fighters, all while needing to adhere to the quarantine recommendations due to the coronavirus. He called it "insane" to try and pull this together before promising the viewers that it was going to happen.
White said that he believes the decision to create the Fight Island event will help the sport, saying doing so will help financially as well as boost the sport's popularity with the public.
"I know we can do it," White said, adding again that it's been a big challenge along the way.He then told Hearn and Bellew that there hadn't been a moment of rest for himself or his staff. He said he's been "burning these guys out," referencing his executive staff who have been trying to set up the new island.
White then said the first event on Fight Island was going to be held on July 25 but corrected himself later in the conversation.
"I made a mistake earlier when I told you about Fight Island. The first event on Fight Island is probably around June 27, not July," he said.
According to ESPN, the upcoming middleweight bout between Kelvin Gastelum and Jack Hermansson, which is tentatively set for July 18, is rumored to be planned for the new island.
As previously published, White recently got into a public argument with UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones over a potential "superfight" with Francis Ngannou.