The construction of its so-called "Fight Island" is nearly finished, UFC President Dana White said Tuesday.
White appeared on the “Jim Rome Show” and said the makeshift island will be designed to stage fights involving the company’s international fighters who may not be able to enter the U.S. because of travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. White said it should be ready to go sometime in June.
“The infrastructure is being built right now. I'm hoping that it will all be done mid-June. Hopefully, we'll be able to have a fight that weekend that it opens, or maybe closer toward the end of June,” White said. “What we're building that for is that I can't predict what tomorrow might bring with this coronavirus, so the hardest thing is going to be getting people in from the United States. This is where we're going to do all our international fights.”
Additionally, White floated the possibility of Conor McGregor fighting on Fight Island without fans.
“Conor’s been ready to fight for a while,” White said. “He’s in shape. He’s ready to go. First of all, Fight Island is going to be very important in any of these fights that are happening with people from outside the country. It kills me to do a fight with Conor without fans. Kills me. This guy’s doing almost $20 million gates.”
UFC will host its first event since March on Saturday. UFC 249 will take place in Jacksonville, Fla. White told Yahoo Sports on Monday he was “excited” for the event to take place.
“Nobody wants to be first, man,” White said. “Nobody wants to be first and take that chance. We’re talking about fighters who want to go in and want to compete. Everybody who is involved in this event wants to be involved in this event. From my employees on up. Somebody has to be first.”