UFC Fight Island Location Announced, Stipe/Cormier III Official
- The location of the much talked about Fight Island has finally been revealed by UFC president Dana White
- The fight card for UFC 251 has been announced and the main card includes three title fights
- The third fight between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier to determine the undisputed heavyweight champion has been made official
Fight Island Is Real – And It’s in Abu Dhabi
What a week it has been for UFC fans, as they received not one, not two, but three massive announcements from the promotion over the past several days.
The biggest piece of news came from the UFC president himself. Earlier this week, when speaking with ESPN on First Take, Dana White revealed that Fight Island is none other than Yas Island, which is part of Abu Dhabi of the United Emirates. Although the mainland of Abu Dhabi is still under rather strict restrictions when it comes to travel amidst the pandemic, Yas Island will be isolated for fighters and coaches and will include all amenities such as training centers, restaurants, hotels, and – yes – an octagon on the beach.
With the UFC being limited to only being able to host events in the USA over the past month, Yas Island will now allow fighters from other countries, especially those in Europe, to travel and compete.
Dana White announced that the company will go ahead with four events on the island, starting with the massive card that is UFC 251, set to take place on Saturday, July 11. Subsequently, three UFC Fight Night cards will follow on the 15th, 18, and 25th.
What Makes UFC 251 So Massive?
Other than taking place on an island? Three title fights! Fight Island will kick off in style as the bantamweight, featherweight, and welterweight titles will all be defended on July 11.
First off, the bantamweight title, vacated by former champion Henry Cejudo when he retired, will be up for grabs when top-contender Petr Yan squares off with MMA legend and former featherweight king Jose Aldo. Aldo was scheduled to face Cejudo earlier this year but travel restrictions between Brazil and the U.S. stopped that from happening. Petr Yan is currently ranked as the third-best bantamweight in the promotion.
Early odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.
|Petr Yan||– 215 |
|Jose Aldo||+170 |
Secondly, featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski will be defending his belt for the first time against the man he won it from: Max Holloway.
Volkanovski is another fighter who has been eager to compete but has had his travel severely restricted. His opponent, former champion Max Holloway, defended the title four times before losing to Volkanovski via unanimous decision last December.
|Alexander Volkanovski||-190 |
|Max Holloway||+150 |
The final title fight, and main event for the evening, will see welterweight champion Kamaru Usman defend his title against one of the fastest rising stars in recent years: Gilbert Burns. Usman is undefeated in his UFC career, which began in 2015. He dominated the former champ Tyron Woodley to win the title last March and made his first successful title defense against Colby Covington last December.
Although he’s been around the UFC since 2014, Gilbert Burns spent most of his career as a lightweight. He jumped to welterweight last August and has won all four of his fights in the division. His last two fights earned him performance of the night bonuses. This will, astonishingly, be his third fight of 2020 and his fifth fight within one calendar year.
|Kamaru Usman||-200 |
|Gilbert Burns||+162 |
The main card will be rounded out with a women’s strawweight rematch (albeit not for the title) between Jessica Andrade and Rose Namajunas.
|Jessica Andrade||+ 150 |
|Rose Namajunas||– 190 |
The event will be kicked off with a women’s flyweight bout between Paige VanZant and Amanda Ribas.
|Paige VanZant||+350 |
|Amanda Ribas||-500 |
Heavyweight Title to Be Defended in August
As if all of the Fight Island news wasn’t enough, the main event for UFC 252 has also been confirmed. After much trash talk and back-and-forth via Twitter, the trilogy fight (as well as rubber match) between heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic and former champion Daniel Cormier will take place on August 15.
In their first bout, the former light heavyweight champion, Daniel Cormier, moved up in weight to challenge for his second title and knocked out Miocic. In the rematch, Miocic would avenge his loss, after a slow start, by earning a TKO victory over Cormier.
The fight was confirmed by Dana White and both men took to Twitter to showcase their excitement.
— Stipe Miocic (@stipemiocic) June 7, 2020
Cormier has gone on record to say that, win or lose, he plans to retire from competition following the trilogy bout.
|Stipe Miocic||-110 |
|Daniel Cormier||-110 |