Dana White reportedly has big plans if the blockbuster UFC 257: McGregor vs. Poirier II event takes place at Fight Island, Abu Dhabi on January 23rd, but it could be that the show just takes place at the APEX facility in Las Vegas instead.
At an upcoming NSAC meeting, the UFC are believed to be requesting a permit to promote three events at the APEX facility on January 16th, 23rd and 30th.
It may just be that the UFC are looking to hedge their bets before making a final decision, but if those events do just play out at the promotion’s own HQ then that would likely be a major disappointment for White, who had said in a recent interview that he wanted to host a fan-attended ‘International Fight Week’ on Fight Island during that period.
“The new Etihad Arena will be open, and that thing was designed with us in mind,” White had told Barstool Sports. “Concerts, pool parties, all kinds of cool stuff. And, yes, I hope to bring fans back. … That’s what I’m shooting for.”
Uncertainty appears to be the new norm as the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause problems around the world, and it could hit close to home for the UFC in the near future as there have been rumors that the promotion may be ordered to hit the ‘pause’ button on their APEX events if the currently spiraling number of cases in Nevada isn’t brought under control.
With Thanksgiving being seen as a potential ‘Superspreader’ event in the U.S. and Christmas also just around the corner that may be easier said than done.
As such, there are signs that even if their ambitious plans to bring back fans on Fight Island can’t be fulfilled, perhaps that destination would still be the better option to ensure the events can go ahead as planned.