The upcoming UFC 249 event on April 18 was originally planned in New York City but was forced to relocate due to the spread of Covid-19 and the ban on public gatherings.
“We’re getting the infrastructure in now so I’m going to start doing the international fights as well,” he said.
“I won’t be able to get international fighters, everyone, to the United States, so I have a private island. I will start flying them all to the private island and make international fights from there. So as of April 1
While refusing to reveal the location of the island, White assured that extensive testing facilities would be in place to ensure that only “100% healthy athletes” would compete.
The island will be closed to fans – with the event streamed exclusively on ESPN – and only a few members of the media will be allowed.
“We’ve been working on this since the world fell apart and every day, when we were going to work on something, we would wake up the next day and the world would change. This is definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”
Codenamed Project Apollo, players from all 16 NRL teams, would be quarantined at Tangalooma Island Resort on Moreton Island, off the coast of Queensland, to ferry back and forth for games in empty stadiums to be broadcast worldwide.
Find a replacement
The main fight for UFC 249 was supposed to see unbeaten lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov defend his title against top contender Tony Ferguson.
And while Ferguson believes that Nurmagomedov should have his title abolished to withdraw from the fight, White does not blame the Russians at all.
“It’s not Khabib’s fault, it’s not anyone’s fault,” he told TMZ Sports. “This is something you could never prepare for, plan for or even dream of any of this being possible.”
Nurmagomedov’s absence left White looking for an opponent for Ferguson, and on Monday night Justin Gaethje signed to attend the main event.
“The fight is signed and is 100% ON LIVE on ESPN anywhere on EARTH !!!!” White said on Twitter.