Dana White may have kept his cards close to his chest about Fight Island to attract mass appeal, but it has since been revealed that fights will take place inside an arena and controlled environment with arguably one of the best fight cards of the year in the opening event: UFC 251.
Fight Island held on Yas Island
The UFC announced Fight Island is actually Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, a manmade island on which the UFC has previously held events, with the fights taking place in an arena and a beach Octagon being used for training and promotional purposes. With temperatures likely to be in the 90s and 100s in the peak periods of the day during Abu Dhabi’s summer months, it perhaps is understandable as to why an unknown arena has been chosen.
Yas Island has held numerous sporting events over the years and is the home of the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Warner Bros World, Ferrari World, Yas WaterWorld and Yas Marina Circuit are all located on the island, as well.
The first event on Yas Island was UFC 251 which was held on July 11. The promotion will also hold Fight Night events on July 15, 18 and 25. Following those four dates, the UFC returns to the United States for a pair of announced cards, including UFC 252, which will be headlined by a heavyweight championship fight between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier. For those that like to put a wager on the action, USLeaguesBetting can help find the best odds.
UFC 251 results
Results of UFC 251, which were not without their controversies and questions about the judges and ability of the referees in some fights, were as follows:
- Kamaru Usman def Jorge Masvidal (unanimous decision)
- Alexander Volkanovski def Max Holloway (split decision)
- Petr Yan def Jose Aldo (fifth-round TKO)
- Rose Namajunas def Jessica Andrade (split decision)
- Amanda Ribas def Paige VanZant (first-round submission)
- Jiri Prochazka def Volkan Oezdemir (second-round KO)
- Muslim Salikhov def Elizeu dos Santos (split decision)
- Makwan Amirkhani def Danny Henry (first-round submission)
- Leonardo Santos def Roman Bogatov (unanimous decision)
Early Preliminary Card
- Marcin Tybura def Maxim Grishin (unanimous decision)
- Raulian Paiva def Zhalgas Zhumagulov (unanimous decision)
- Karol Rosa def Vanessa Melo (unanimous decision)
- Davey Grant def Martin Day (third-round KO)
Upcoming bouts to take place at Fight Island
These are just some of the other bouts that fans can look forward to witnessing:
- Deiveson Figueiredo vs Joseph Benavidez (Flyweight title bout)
- Jack Hermansson vs Kelvin Gastelum (Middleweight bout)
- Ariane Lipski vs Luana Carolina (Women’s Flyweight bout)
- Robert Whittaker vs Darren Till (Middleweight bout)
- Mauricio Rua vs Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (Light Heavyweight bout)
- Carla Esparza vs Marina Rodriguez (Women’s Strawweight bout)
Fight Island & UFC 251 proved to be successful
There is no doubt that UFC 251 was a major success for White and the promotion across the world as Fight Island certainly appeared to pay off for the company. According to figures released, the sporting event managed to bring in 1.3million pay-per-view buys during the lockdown period being experienced across the globe.
With that number of buys, reports have claimed that the PPV immediately ranked as the number 6 event on the all-time list, tying with Conor McGregor’s bout with Eddie Alvarez in 2016.
The breakdown of overall buys is thought to have been around 900,000 in the United States of America, whereas an additional 400,000 came from the rest of the world. With the event priced at $64.99 in the States, UFC 251 is thought to have brought in an estimated total of $77,988,000 just in TV revenue.