UFC President Dana White said the promotion will resume soon, there will be a lot of work to be done and yes, “Fight Island” is a real thing.
In an invitational teleconference convened to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic promotion response, White attempted to reassure contractors that the UFC would return in spectacular fashion.
White said the promotion would restart live events starting May 9 and hold weekly events in the United States. and subsequent cards remain to be determined.
In addition, White promised that every UFC fighter who wanted to would be able to fight three times this year, and said “Fight Island” would be operational in late May or early June. The promotion was forced to postpone four events, including the banner UFC 249, amid the closures caused by the pandemic.
In addition to a calendar for the tropical combat route, White’s comments were characterized as a repetition of his previous promotion talks, according to several fighters who attended the meeting and spoke under cover anonymity because they feared retaliation from promotion. Managers and other “third parties” were not allowed to attend the meeting, pursuant to an invitation obtained by MMA Fighting.
One combatant called the meeting “somewhat unnecessary” and criticized White for not disclosing the location of the event. The teleconference was arranged so that the combatants could not see who else was attending the call or who was asking questions during a Q&A part of the call.
At one point, White attacked the media for what he believed to be inaccurate reports of plans at UFC 249, and taunted, “The media are not your friends. On several occasions, he asked the combatants serious questions and reassured them that if they did not feel comfortable with the coronavirus, they would not have to compete.
Several fighters said they did not check their emails and were not aware of the meeting until they were contacted by MMA Fighting. They said they would attend the next session, scheduled for Monday, April 20.
Here are some points relayed by the participants, several of which were reported for the first time by MMA Junkie:
- Fighters who have had postponed fights have priority for the new reservation.
- White expressed dislike for variable weight fights and said fighters should probably wait until they can put on weight before participating again.
- The matchmakers will contact the fighters to re-book the fights and assist as much as they can with the medicals, and the promotion will buy plane tickets to as many corners as possible for “Fight Island”.
- The location of “Fight Island” on international waters means that people can fight without a visa.
- UFC is currently negotiating the opening of APEX and the UFC Performance Institute
- The UFC is working with the Nevada government to promote Vegas from May, but they haven’t finalized anything yet. The next battle cards will likely be in the United States.
- International Struggle Week is unlikely to happen.
- The Trifecta meal service for fighters will be back soon.