Fight Island isn’t even fully constructed yet, but already, the island where UFC fights will be held this summer is captivating the MMA community.
We’ve already seen fighters advocating for their next event to be held on the island, including Greg Hardy, who even went as far as saying that he’d like to live on Fight Island until he defeats every competitor currently ranked in the UFC Heavyweight division’s top 15.
Colby Covington has also supported a potential rematch with Kamaru Usman for the UFC’s Welterweight Championship to be held on Fight Island in a web video earlier this week.
Furthermore, the online UFC shop is already selling T-shirts with “Where is Fight Island?” on the front.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto tweeted a few weeks ago that Fight Island will be up and running sometime in June and feature a beachside Octagon and adjacent hotels for competitors to stay in the run-up to their fights.
Per Dana White, Fight Island will be operational by June. Octagon on the beach. Hotels for fighters to stay at while they are there. Once things go back to normal, Fight Island will likely get retired, but it’s a real piece of the promotions plans.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) April 24, 2020
As seen in Okamoto’s April 24 tweet above, UFC President Dana White has mentioned that when the current novel coronavirus pandemic improves and the promotion is again permitted to hold cards outside of the United States, Fight Island would close.
In my opinion, rather than close it down, the UFC should expand on Fight Island beyond its original concept and premise.
Here’s how this can happen:
- The UFC should hold a season or multiple seasons of The Ultimate Fighter television series on Fight Island. Matches during the competition could be held right in the beachside Octagon on the island and the live finale at the end of the season could be held in a regular arena. Unlike Survivor, however, The Ultimate Fighter on Fight Island should not feature bug eating as a challenge.
- To that extent, the UFC should also bring Dana White’s Contender Series to Fight Island. Again, Fight Island will have a beachside Octagon, so the UFC might as well use the ring as much as possible.
- The UFC should hold several Fight Night cards every summer, and maybe a pay-per-view on Fight Island, as well. This is all about the UFC getting as much mileage as possible out of the property.
- The UFC should construct an adjacent training center near the Fight Island property as an extension of the current UFC Performance Institute. It would perfect for those fighters on a developmental contract as a result of a Contender Series However, the fact that there is a beachside Octagon on Fight Island presents one significant challenge: Inclement weather—which leads me to—
- In addition to a beachside Octagon on Fight Island, there should also be an indoor Octagon inside the adjacent training center to preserve any Fight Island cards that have to be moved due to rain and/or stormy weather.
In conclusion, the UFC should not give up Fight Island when the current health crisis improves—but rather, Fight Island has the potential to last well beyond the pandemic.
It all depends on if Dana White decides to keep Fight Island open when the current situation improves.
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