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The Show Must Go On? UFC Boss Finds ‘Private Island’ for Bouts Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White told TMZ Sports on Tuesday that he had found a new venue for UFC 249 bouts after the Barclays Centre in New York was ruled out because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I'm […] a day or two away from securing a private island […]  we're getting the infrastructure put in now, so I'm going to start doing the international fights too”, White said.

He added that he would be unable to “get all of the international fighters into the US” but said he would “start flying them off into the island and do international fights there”.

“As of Apr 18, the UFC is back up and running”, White pointed out, adding that bouts are due to be held every week and that all fighters, support staff, and UFC crew would regularly undergo coronavirus tests.

While White remained tight-lipped about the exact location of the venue, the US sports news network ESPN quoted unnamed sources as saying on Monday that “it's looking like it [the fights] will take place on the West Coast of the United States”.

The sources also said that “the UFC has made a point to not share the specific location with many people outside the company at this time”.

The remarks come after Russia’s UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov wrote on his Instagram account last week that his fight with American Tony Ferguson slated for 18 April had been cancelled.

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Staying home in quarantine and reading the reaction of people to the situation around my fight, it turns out that the whole world should be in quarantine, governments of all countries, famous people around the world urge people to follow all safety requirements in order to limit the spread of the disease, to save people, and Khabib is the only one relieved of all obligations and must demonstrate free will and train flying around the world, for the sake of fight? - I understand everything and I’m definitely upset more than you to cancel the fight, probably like all others, I had many plans after the fight, but I can’t control it all. The greatest countries and the largest companies of our time are shocked by what is happening, every day the situation changes unpredictably. But Khabib still has to fight, is that what you saying? - Take care of yourself and put yourself in my shoes. - 📍 Сижу дома на карантине и читаю реакцию людей на ситуацию вокруг моего боя, получается весь мир должен сидеть на карантине, правительства всех стран и известные люди всего мира призывают людей соблюдать требования безопасности, чтоб ограничить распространение болезни ради спасения людей, а Хабиб, освобождён от всех обязательств и должен демонстрировать свободу воли и тренироваться летая по всему миру рискуя своей жизнью ради боя ? - Я все понимаю и точно не меньше вас расстроен отменой боя, наверно у меня , как и у всех других, было много планов после боя, но я не в силах контролировать все это. Сверх державы и крупнейшие компании нашего времени в шоке от того, что происходит, каждый день ситуация меняется непредсказуемо. Но Хабиб все равно должен драться, так получается? - Берегите себя и поставьте себя на мое место.

Публикация от Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov)

Nurmagomedov expressed regret over the cancellation, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic makes everything unpredictable and that he should follow the safety requirements and stay at home in order to tackle the spread of the outbreak.

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