UFC could return to Fight Island to skirt incoming restrictions against unvaccinated travelers to the US
UFCrecently distributed a memo to fighters and their teams warning of upcoming travel restrictions.
- From November 8, travelers looking to enter the US will have to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
UFC could return to
From November 8, foreign travelers looking to enter or re-enter the US will need to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 with one of the seven WHO-approved jabs.
The memo, which was sent by UFC chief business officer Hunter Campbell, said: "You should consider your options, such as traveling to the United States before this new US government policy takes effect, or if you choose, make arrangements to take the appropriate vaccination."
Campbell's memo reflects White's position.
However, it raises challenges as the UFC has a large international roster of fighters, and it is unclear how many of those are vaccinated against COVID-19.
White, though, may have a workaround for those who do not want the vaccine, preventing them from competing in the US.
When the onset of the pandemic shuttered the world's biggest sports operations, the UFC worked frenetically to restart operations.
It began with a behind-closed-doors series of events in Florida, using its own Apex facility in Las Vegas, and then holding international shows under the branding of "Fight Island" in Abu Dhabi.
The UFC held three separate fight festivals on the emirate in July 2020, October, and January 2021.
It returns to Abu Dhabi next week for a non-Fight Island branded show, as part of its five-year agreement with the region to hold an event there once a year.
But speaking to reporters at a post-event press conference Tuesday, White said the company could restart Fight Island once again in light of these new restrictions for unvaccinated travelers.
"I've been telling you guys through this whole thing, you're like, 'Hey, what about this, what about that?' I said I have no idea how all this nuttiness is going to play out, but here we go," said White. "I don't know."
He continued: "I think 'Fight Island' is going to be hopping again. Yeah, we're looking to do more events [there].
"I'm going to Abu Dhabi next Wednesday, so I have a lot of meetings out there. I've been dying to walk you guys through what's been going on in Abu Dhabi anyways, so this trip I'll get everything done, buttoned up, and finished."
The UFC 267 fight card, which takes place at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, features two title fights and the return of MMA super prospect Khamzat Chimaev.
- Startups go physical from digital as pandemic boom ends
- Sci-Simplified: What Happened to Green India? Ranked Lowest as per Environmental Performance Index, India Disputes Methodology
- James Bond is being reinvented again, next movie only after 2 years
- Sustainability Forum: Industry experts unravel technology’s influential impact in pursuit of sustainable development goals as part of the Microsoft AI Innovation Series
- Bank holidays in July 2022