UFC President Dana White is impressed with the growth of mixed martial arts in Arab countries.
White and the promotion are back on Fight Island, which is located on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. White isn’t just impressed with Fight Island, but he also sees a lot of high-level MMA talent coming from Abu Dhabi.
“This is becoming the fight capital of the world,” White told UFC Arabia (via Farah Hannoun of MMA Junkie). “Not only with the biggest fights on earth happening here, but now talent is starting to pop up here, and I think you’re going to see that over the next six, seven years. Actually, if all this craziness wasn’t going on and we weren’t in the safe zone here in the bubble, I would have been at that fight (UAE Warriors). We would have done ‘Lookin’ for a Fight’ at the fights this weekend but yeah, I know that that show does well, and I love it – we’ll end up doing ‘Lookin for a Fight’ with them soon.”
This second run on Fight Island began with UFC 253 on September 26 and will end with UFC 254 on September 24. One thing White predicts based on his business dealings in the country is that Abu Dhabi is going to become the new fight capital of the world.
“I’ve been in business with Abu Dhabi for a decade, and we have a five-year deal with these guys to bring five fights, one a year here, and then the pandemic hit and we ended up here,” White said. “This place is becoming the fight capital of the world. I mean the biggest fights in the world are happening in Abu Dhabi, so we love it here. People treat us unbelievably, the infrastructure here is incredible, beautiful hotels, great restaurants, pools, the ocean. When you put on fights, you want to go to a destination – a place that people want to come and check out. There’s no doubt in my mind, that once the world gets back to normal, whatever the new normal is going to be when it happens, Abu Dhabi is going to be a destination that people want to travel from all over the world to come see fights.”
Up next for the UFC and Fight Island is UFC Fight Island 4 which is headlined by Holly Holm and Irene Aldana.