Back in May, MMA insider Ryan Frederick wrote for Fight Game Media that the UFC Fight Island, set to hold multiple summer events amid the coronavirus pandemic, was located at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
During an appearance on ESPN's "First Take" on Tuesday, UFC boss Dana White confirmed that news and said the first show held on Fight Island will occur on July 11.
.@danawhite revealed details on "Fight Island" for #UFC251 on July 11. @espnmma— First Take (@FirstTake) June 9, 2020
Yas Island in Abu Dhabi
Octagon on the beach
Private training, hotel facilities
Three title fights pic.twitter.com/V6Fk3N80fw
White announced that UFC 251 will be headlined by welterweight champion Kamaru Usman defending that title versus Gilbert Burns. Alexander Volkanovski will defend the featherweight strap against Max Holloway in a UFC 245 rematch. Petr Yan and Jose Aldo will battle over the vacant bantamweight title in the card's third championship bout.
The UFC stripped Henry Cejudo of the bantamweight crown — or Cejudo relinquished the belt, based on your perspective — in May once Cejudo announced his retirement following his victory over Dominick Cruz at UFC 249.
On Monday, Cejudo told TMZ he's open to returning to the UFC to fight Volkanovski:
Recently, Usman publicly challenged former two-division champion Conor McGregor and Jorge Masvidal to a July contest. White instead offered that bout to Burns after negotiations between the promotion and Masvidal fell apart over financial aspects of the deal.
Fight Island will also hold Fight Night cards on July 15, 18, and 25, White said, as the UFC continues to make up for lost time and events postponed or canceled due to the virus outbreak.
White echoed comments he made to TMZ Sports last week and told ESPN that Fight Island includes, among other things, an arena, training facilities that allow for social distancing, and an octagon located on the beach.
As ESPN's Brett Okamoto wrote, UFC 242, headlined by Khabib Nurmagomedov successfully defending his lightweight title via a submission win over Dustin Poirier, took place on Yas Island last September.