Abu Dhabi: With the most anticipated upcoming historic events at UFC Fight Island, FightBook MMA wanted to provide you with a comprehensive guide covering all four events starting on July 11 and continuing with July 15, July 18, and July 25.
The main event for all four events will stream live on Pay-Per-View exclusively through ESPN+ in the U.S. at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT in both English and Spanish. Preliminary fights will air nationally in English on ESPN and ESPN+, and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes, starting at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT with the first four bouts also simulcast on UFC Fight Pass.
UFC President Dana White states: “The infrastructure we’ve put in place on Fight Island has created a once-in-a-lifetime experience for everyone. From the Octagon on the beach, the private training facility, designated UFC safety zone, first-class restaurants, and the incredible arena, this is truly a destination that only could have been imagined.”
Yas Island is surrounded by crystal-clear waters and dotted with some of Abu Dhabi’s most iconic landmarks. Yas Island is home to one-of-a-kind experiences that are bound to invigorate all the senses and create memories that will last a lifetime. From family friendly theme parks to a thrilling F1 race track, an award-winning gold course to world-class shopping and unparalleled hospitality, this unique holiday destination provides a complete and unforgettable experience to all its visitors.
Details about Yas Island:
- Yas Island itself spans an area of 9.6 square miles
- Yas Island was born in 2009, as an island off the Abu Dhabi coast
- Yas Island is no stranger to international events. Home of the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the island has hosted everything from boxing events and Broadway shows to Beyoncé
- Yas Island is a destination like nowhere else with a collection of world-class, world-first, world-only attractions, making it a premier leisure and entertainment hub
- Warner Bros WorldTM, Ferrari World, Yas WaterWorld and Yas Marina Circuit are just a few of the attractions located on Yas Island, surrounded by crystal-clear waters and white sandy beaches
Details about the ‘Safe Zone’ aka UFC Fight IslandTM:
- An 11km stretch of Yas Island will be on lockdown, with borders and police checkpoints, allowing no entry to Abu Dhabi residents. 2,500+ UFC personnel, event staff, and Yas Island employees will be housed within the safe zone through the period of the event, to ensure the safety of all
- All Abu Dhabi staff undertook a 14-day hotel room isolation and achieved three negative COVID-19 tests to ensure the safest possible environment for all
- The Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi aims to set the standard for sports and entertainment safety in a post-COVID world with this safe zone concept
- This safe area is known as UFC Fight IslandTM also includes Yas Marina Circuit (F1 track), Yas Links (golf course) and Yas Beach as well as a selection of 3-5* hotels
Entertainment features included within the UFC safety zone:
- (1) Yas Beach
- Includes kayaking and all-day dining at Yas Beach Restaurant
- (2) Yas Links
- #1 ranked course in the Middle East
- #46 ranked course in the world by Golf Digest
- (3) Flash Forum
- (4) Yas Marina Curcuit
- 5.5km in length
- 21 corners and a 1,140m straight
- Only F1 track in the world to run through a hotel (W hotel)
- More than a dozen dining establishments
Accommodations included within the UFC safety zone:
- (5) W Hotel Abu Dhabi
- (6) Crown Plaza Abu Dhabi
- (7) Staybridge Suite Abu Dhabi
- (8) Park Inn by Radisson Abu Dhabi
- (9) Radisson Blue Hotel Abu Dhabi
- (10) Yas Island Rotana
- (11) Centro Yas Island
Health and safety will be paramount on Yas Island, as it has been for every UFC event since the return to action in early May. Both UFC and Abu Dhabi have worked closely with government entities in the UAE to make sure we are able to deliver the events in the safest and most efficient way possible, all while adhering to the government’s strict safety measures
Three medical facilities and 17 medical personnel in the safe zone. Over 2000 COVID-19 tests performed on FIGHT ISLAND staff/workers in June. Approximately 3,300 pre-departure and on-site COVID-19 antigen tests planned for UFC athletes and event personnel. UFC athletes, staff, and event personnel may be subject to at least 5 COVID-19 tests.
- 1 test pre-departure to Abu Dhabi
- 1 at the airport upon arrival in Abu Dhabi
- 1 at the hotel upon check-in followed by a 48-hour quarantine period
- 1 test prior to the event
- 1 test post-event pre-departure from Abu Dhabi
All FIGHT ISLAND attendees must stay within the Safe Zone, which is closed to the public. Face coverings must be worn at all times in public. Social distancing will be enforced at all times (6 feet / 2 meters). 24-48 hour quarantine required upon arrival. Nightly temperature screenings for fever.
Flash Forum is well placed to host UFC Fight IslandTM due to its reduced size, technical set-up, and location within the locked-off ‘safe zone’. Flash Forum has welcomed some of the biggest events and concerts in the Emirates over the past 10 years, including concerts by music icons Prince and Dua Lipa through to sporting events such as the Muay Thai Championship in 2018. Fighters will benefit from a powerful inbuilt air conditioning system which ensures year-round comfort for events, with Flash Forum itself just a short walk from hotels hosting all UFC personnel and event staff. Adaptations to the venue for UFC and COVID-19 regulations include the addition of ‘mist tunnels’ on entry which will kill 99% of surface bacteria, removals of all communal areas, like crowd seating and food facilities, and the implementation of the famous Octagon. Flash Forum is one of many venues on Yas Island to choose from, reinforcing its reputation as the leading entertainment hub in the region. Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island will host four thrilling events over the span of two weeks, including four critical title fights and 20 athletes ranked in the top 10 of their respective divisions. Below, please find talking points and b-roll links for each event.
Upcoming UFC Fight Island Event Information:
UFC 251: Usman vs. Masvidal (Saturday, July 11):
Kamaru Usman (16-1) fighting out of Boca Raton, Fla. by way of Auchi, Nigeria will look to make a statement and prove he is the best welterweight on the planet. Usman is the current UFC welterweight champion and No. 6 ranked men’s pound-for-pound fighter. He has 7 wins by KO and 1 via submission. He is coming into this fight on a 15-fight win streak with 11-fight UFC win streak. With a win, he would tie GSP for the longest UFC welterweight win streak (12). Usman is the winner of The Ultimate Fighter season 21. He holds wins over Tyron Woodley, Colby Covington, and Rafael Dos Anjos. He’s also the NCAA Div. II wrestling champion.
Jorge Masvidal (35-13) fighting out of Miami, Fla. he intends on continuing his incredible win streak and finally become UFC champion. He’s currently the UFC BMF champion and No. 3 ranked UFC welterweight contender. He is coming into this fight with 16 wins by KO with 2 by submission. He holds the record for the fastest KO in UFC history, 5 seconds against Ben Askren UFC 239). The last 5 wins have come by KO and he is tied for 4th-most KOs in UFC welterweight history. He holds victories against Nate Diaz, Darren Till, and Donald Cerrone.
Alexander Volkanovski (21-1) fighting out of Windang, New South Wales, Australia looks to make it 2-0 against Holloway and defend his title for the first time. He is currently the UFC featherweight champion and No. 7 ranked men’s pound-for-pound fighter. He is stepping into the cage with 11 wins by KO and 3 by submission. He’s on an 18-fight win streak and has been undefeated since 2013. He has never been submitted and has 7 first-round finishes. Volkanovski holds wins over every UFC featherweight champion in history in Max Holloway, and Jose Aldo.
Max Holloway (21-5) fighting out of Waianae, Hawaii aims to even the score with Volkanovski and reclaim his throne as the best featherweight in the world. Max is a former UFC featherweight champion, No. 1 ranked contender and No. 10 men’s pound-for-pound fighter. He holds 10 wins by KO and 2 via submission. He has won 14 of his last 15 featherweight bouts and holds the record for most wins in UFC featherweight history (14). Max holds the record for most KO/TKOs in UFC featherweight history (8) and holds wins over former UFC champions Anthony Pettis, Frankie Edgar, and Jose Aldo twice.
Petr Yan (14-1) fighting out of Yekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia has his sights set on taking out another legend and achieving his dream of becoming UFC champion. He’s currently No. 3 ranked bantamweight contender with 6 wins by KO and 1 via submission. He’s on a 9-fight win streak and is undefeated in the UFC with a record of 6-0. The only loss is by split-decision in a 5-round championship fight back in 2013. He holds wins over Urijah Faber, Jimmie Rivera, and John Dodson.
Jose Aldo (28-6) fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil hopes to become the eighth athlete to win championships in two UFC divisions. He’s the former UFC featherweight champion and No. 6 ranked bantamweight contender. He is also the former WEC featherweight champion and youngest WEC champion in history at the age of 23. He holds 17 wins by KO and 1 via submission and 12 first-round finishes. Aldo is the most successful UFC featherweight champion with 7 title defenses. He holds wins over Frankie Edgar (twice), Chad Mendes (twice), and Urijah Faber.
UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Ige (Wednesday, July 15):
Calvin Kattar (21-4) fighting out of Methuen, Mass. aims to make his biggest statement yet by becoming the first person to ever stop Ige. Currently, No. 6 ranked UFC featherweight contender with 11 wins by KO, two by submission and 10 first-round finishes. He holds wins over Jeremy Stephens, Ricardo Lamas, and Shane Burgos.
Dan Ige (14-2) fighting out of Haleiwa, Hawaii fully intends on continuing his impressive winning streak in his first UFC main event. He is No. 10 ranked UFC featherweight contender with three wins by KO and five by submission. He’s on a six-fight winning streak and holds wins over Edson Barboza, Mirsad Bektic, and Kevin Aguilar.
UFC Fight Night: Figueiredo vs. Benavidez II (Saturday, July 18):
Deiveson Figueiredo (18-1) fighting out of Condor Belem, Para, Brazil intends to prove that his win over Benavidez was no fluke and stake his claim as the best flyweight in the world. He’s the No. 1 ranked UFC flyweight contender and has finished 15 of his 18 wins, including nine KO’s and six submissions. He has never been submitted and knocked out and has nine first-round finishes. He holds wins over Tim Elliott, Alexandre Pantoja, and John Moraga.
Joe Benavidez (28-6) fighting out of Las Cruces, N.M. aims to make good on his fourth UFC title shot and finally claim his first UFC championship. Currently, No. 2 ranked UFC flyweight contender with eight wins by KO, nine by submission and holds the record for most knockout wins in UFC flyweight history (five). He is tied for the most wins in UFC flyweight history (13) and holds wins over Jussier Formiga (twice), Henry Cejudo, and Alex Perez.
Jack Hermansson (20-5) fighting out of Oslo, Norway looks to return to his winning ways by becoming the first person to knockout Gastelum. He’s No. 6 ranked UFC middleweight contender and has finished 16 of his 20 wins, including 11 KO’s and five submissions with nine first-round finishes. He has won four of his last five bouts and holds wins over Jacare Souza, David Branch, and Thales Leites.
Kelvin Gastelum (16-5) fighting out of Yuma, Ariz. plans on securing another signature finish and working his way back to another shot at UFC gold. He’s No. 7 ranked UFC middleweight contender with six wins by KO and four by submission. He’s The Ultimate Fighter season 17 winner and holds wins over Jacare Souza, Michael Bisping, and Johnny Hendricks.
UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Till (Saturday, July 25):
Robert Whittaker (21-5) fighting out of Sydney, Australia looks to bounce back into the win column and work his way back to his lost title. He’s the former UFC middleweight champion and No. 1 ranked UFC middleweight contender. He’s the first Australian UFC champion with nine wins by KO and five by submission. He holds a record of 8-1 at middleweight with 11 first-round finishes and holds wins over Yoel Romero (twice), Jacare Souza and Derek Brunson
Darren Till (18-2) fighting out of Liverpool, England he plans to stay undefeated at middleweight and set himself up as the next challenger for the belt. No. 5 ranked UFC middleweight contender and former UFC welterweight title challenger. He has 10 wins by KO, two by submission and five first-round finishes. He holds wins over Kelvin Gastelum, Stephen Thompson, and Donald Cerrone.
Mauricio Rua (26-11) fighting out of Curitiba, Brazil intends to make an emphatic statement in his trilogy bout with Nogueira. No. 15 ranked UFC light heavyweight contender and former UFC light heavyweight champion. He has finished 22 of his 26 wins, including 21 knockouts, one submission, and 17 first-round finishes. He holds wins over former UFC champions Chuck Liddell, Forrest Griffin, and Lyoto Machida.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (23-9) fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil aims to prove that he can still compete with the best in the world and finally defeat Rua. With 8 wins by KO and 6 by submission with eight first-round finishes. He holds wins over Rashad Evans, Tito Ortiz, and Dan Henderson.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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