Dana White and the UFC have certainly never been afraid to do things differently and take chances, but what they’re attempting to pull off in 12 days would be unforgettable even by their standards.
On Monday night the UFC announced an entire fight card to air on ESPN+ PPV, with the intention of hosting the event on a private island in what is now an undisclosed location.
The headliners for the card would be Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje fighting for the interim lightweight championship. Originally lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov was to fight Ferguson in this main event, but is unable to leave his native Russia due to the pandemic.
Also Jessica Andrade and Rose Namajunas will be in the cage for the women’s strawweight championship.
Though multiple fights have already been lost, the company is looking to book the same venue for an April 28th card as well according to MMAFighting.com. The location has yet to be announced, with White saying in an interview with TMZ he will have private island secured “within a day or two.”
If the UFC can pull this off, it would likely be able to reap the rewards of a lack of sports across the planet via massive pay-per-view buy rates. But there’s also tremendous risk in having the virus exposed to just one person in any sequester, and that’s risk the multi-billion dollar enterprise would be on the hook for if something was to happen.
It’s worth keeping an eye on, and since it would be sanctioned UFC action, bettors would possibly able to get action on the fights anywhere that sports betting is legal in the United States, pending the jurisdiction of the island being sought.
And it does look like there is precedent here — at least cinematically:
This...this is the plot for Mortal Kombat https://t.co/ddYtGAyKju— Andray #GeneralStrike2020 (@andraydomise) April 7, 2020