Dana White says 'Fight Island is real,' UFC will be the first sport back

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UFC 249 and all other UFC events being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic isn't going to stop Dana White from trying to make shows happen as soon as possible.

The UFC president took to social media after the UFC 249 postponement announcement and let fans know that the company is still planning ahead.

"Fight island is real," White said. "Fight island is a real thing, it's really happening. The infrastructure is being built right now on the island."

He added: "All the fights that you guys wanted to see are coming, man. They're coming."

White additionally told ESPN: "I can go next week. So, whenever my partner gives me the thumbs-up that they're ready to go, I'm ready to go."

He said that the infrastructure for the island, the location of which hasn't been revealed, is in progress, and that it should be ready in about a month.

"We’re looking at like a month," White said. "I’ll have that all put together, and guys can start training and can go there. I’m sure people are gonna be ready to get out of their houses in another month and go to an island somewhere and train."

White's optimism comes after White was forced to postpone UFC 249, which was set to take place at the Tachi Palace Casino Resort near Fresno, Calif., on tribal land, and postpone other planned events indefinitely.

"Today, we got a call from the highest level you can go at Disney (ESPN's parent company), and the highest level at ESPN ... and the powers that be there asked me to stand down and not do this event on Saturday," White told ESPN earlier in the day.

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein strongly urged the UFC to not hold its event during this COVID-19 global pandemic.

"I'm concerned by reports that Ultimate Fighting Championship plans to hold a pay-per-view event in California, in defiance of the state’s shelter-in-place order," Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a press release. "This event would involve dozens of individuals flying to California and driving to a casino for a purpose no one can honestly claim is essential.

“I understand this event is scheduled to take place on tribal land and therefore is not subject to state law," she continued. "However, at best this event ties up medical resources and sends a message that shelter-in-place orders can be flouted. At worst, participants and support staff could carry the virus back to their home communities and increase its spread."

On his Instagram post on Thursday, White said the UFC would be the first sport back, and that when he's able to hold an event in California, UFC would return to Tachi Palace.

"Tachi Palace stood their ground, stood behind us, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate those guys," White said. "So when California opens up, and the whole world becomes normal again, the first thing we're doing is going to Tachi Palace."

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