UFC president Dana White revealed on Monday that UFC 249 would be moving forward, headlined by an interim lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje. From that point, White says the shows will continue despite the global pandemic known as COVID-19.
But the million-dollar question is where will all of these fight cards take place? While White didn't reveal the location of UFC 249, he acknowledged that he's inching closer to securing the next two months of fights at a private island.
"I locked this venue (that will host UFC 249) for two months," White told TMZ Sports. "I have this venue for two months, and we're setting up shop here. We're going to be pumping out fights every week. I'm also a day or two away from securing a private island. I have a private island that I've secured. We're getting the infrastructure put in now, so I'm going to start doing the international fights, too, with the international fighters.
"I'm not going to be able to get the international fighters, all of them into the U.S., so I have a private island. I'm going to start flying them all into the private island and start doing international fights from there. So as of April 18, the UFC is back up and running. We have all our own planes and everything we're going to fly into the island with the fighters."
While the rest of the sports world has shut down for the time being, White has continued to defend the health and safety record of his organization. For the first time, White said the UFC would rigorously test everyone involved, although he didn't give the specifics of how COVID-19 testing will be implemented at the shows that will be conducted without fans.
"Everybody is going to be pre-tested and tested and tested," White said. "We're going to make sure that 100 percent healthy athletes, healthy athletic commission people, healthy judges, referees, my production people, that everybody there is healthy. We're going to make sure that everybody is safe before, during, and after the fights."