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The first glimpse into the magnificent UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi

Ashwani Kumar/Abu Dhabi
Filed on June 30, 2020
The 'Safe Zone' on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. - Supplied photo

The biggest mixed martial arts fights of the year will happen inside Flash Forum, which is right opposite the F1 circuit grandstand

The octagon steel cage for the UFC Fight Island is getting ready on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. With just under two weeks left for the big showdown, the local authorities revealed the first peek into the location and the facilities that makeup the 25-km state-of-the-art 'Safe Zone' - a concept which has caught everyone's attention.

The 'Safe Zone' comprises a bunch of world-class hotels. Then there's Yas Beach on one end and Yas Links golf club at the other. The zone also includes a portion of the Yas Marina Circuit which stages the Formula One season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix every year.

The entire space includes the most popular destination for leisure, adventure and entertainment in Abu Dhabi.

The big plus is that the facility is just minutes away from the Abu Dhabi International Airport.

And the biggest mixed martial arts fights of the year will happen inside Flash Forum, which is right opposite the F1 circuit grandstand. The area is spread over 640,000sqm and is being completed by some 740 workers.

Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, Executive Director, Tourism and Marketing, Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, told the Khaleej Times that the highest level of safety will be ensured for the event. He noted that Abu Dhabi is confident about hosting another successful international event.

"The good thing is that Abu Dhabi has a good reputation when it comes to international competitions. Last year we had a success story with the UFC fights in September. We are confident that we can do everything here in Abu Dhabi. We can assure the health and safety of everyone who will be in Abu Dhabi," Al Shaiba had said.

The Safe Zone will be only open to UFC team and other local staff needed in various operations of the facilities, and everyone will be tested for Covid-19.

As a first step, between June 15 and 24, as many as 2004 tests have been conducted for all the local staff.

"The DCT - Abu Dhabi in coordination with public and private sector stakeholders are progressing with a comprehensive programme of staff testing and event set-up following physical distancing and preventative health guidelines," the local authority said.

There will be four events, including one Pay Per View of UFC 251 and three Fight Nights on July 12.

The main fight will be between welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns. Featherweight title holder Alexander Volkanovski will take on number one contender Max Holloway.

Petr Yan and veteran Jose Aldo will vie for the vacant bantamweight title. The women's fight will see Rose Namajunas up against Jessica Andrade to cap the opening night card.

There will be three more fight nights on July 16, 19 and 26.

And UFC president Dana White is expected to land in Abu Dhabi in a week to set things rolling.

ashwani@khaleejtimes.com


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