UFSEA: Where, When and Why for the UFC Fight Island


As last month drew to a close, “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver took aim at UFC’s plans to return to action. He hit out at several ideas and concepts, but for most viewers of the HBO late night show, his slamming the name Fight Island stood out from the rest of the segment.

Oliver suggested the moniker “UFSEA” instead. Just one day later, the UFC filed four new trademarks to use the term “UFSEA” for upcoming events, posters, and merchandise. Then UFC President Dana White thanked Oliver for the inspiration to trademark “UFSEA,” in an interview where he also hit back at Oliver by saying the comedian used “selective facts” in his desk piece.

Also, White made it clear that Oliver won’t be getting any cut off royalties earned from the name.

While there is a lot to debate about how, or even why when it comes to UFC returning right now, most will agree that UFSEA is a better name than Fight Island. In a way, even White himself tacitly seems to agree on that. So let’s take a look at the FYIs for the “UFSEA’s” Fight Island.

It all begins in July, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, as mixed martial arts grapplers will be bringing the best fightting gear, their A-game, and the best physiques that they could achieve during their quarantines, and the lack of access to gyms that came along with it.

Fight Island will be located in the central portion of Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island, which is ten miles square. The fights, which will be staged with no fans allowed, is located adjacent to the E12 highway, on the other side of the Yas Mall. It is in an undeveloped zone in between the Yas North and Al Dar Labour Village neighborhoods.

How did it end up in the UAE? Well according to DAZN:

“Last September, UFC 242: Khabib vs. Poirier was held on Yas Island as part of a five-year partnership between the UFC and Abu Dhabi. Bringing Fight Island to Abu Dhabi is an extension of that agreement.”

Fight Island will stage its first event with UFC 251 on July 11. Three more fight nights on July 15, July 18 and July 25. The main event features Kamaru Usman taking on Gilbert Burns for the welterweight title.

There will also be two more title bouts, Alexander Volkanovski defending the featherweight crown against Max Holloway, and Petr Yan squaring off against Jose Aldo to be the alpha dog in the bantamweight division.

That title is currently vacant. Finally, but perhaps most importantly, while there may be a lot of social distancing surrouding the event, this is indeed a contact sport.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TV, Sports Illustrated, Chicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.com, on Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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