When UFC President Dana White recommended the concept of Battle Island, it sounded insane to lots of.
How would it work? Is it an octagon on the beach? Was he going to merely purchase an island? How would fighters arrive? Many concerns emerged and White had all the responses.
Battle Island wasn’t a brand name brand-new concept as much as it was an old option brought to life when again. UFC had actually established camp on Yas Island in the United Arab Emirates back in 2010 for UFC 112 and ten years later on, they made their method back.
So what’s it like here? talkSPORT has actually made the journey to eliminate Island to view all 3 programs UFC has actually prepared in between January 16-23 culminating in Conor McGregor’s return to the octagon.
To Start With, UFC’s security procedures are as strict as you might potentially picture. No corners are being cut and they have actually gone to excellent expenditure to guarantee everybody’s security.
I needed to have 2 COVID-19 tests prior to I might get on the airplane over here. One was 10 days prior to flying, the other about 36 hours in the past. After taking the 2nd test, we quarantined in a hotel space by Heathrow airport.
Once they returned unfavorable, we flew to Abu Dhabi. Upon arrival at our hotel, we had another test instantly and quarantined once again. A brand-new day brought yet another test and additional quarantining therefore the very first 2 days was absolutely nothing however appreciating the sunlight from a hotel space window, although the promo and their UAE hosts were really accommodating while guaranteeing everybody’s security.
I had another test on Friday early morning to ensure I had the ability to participate in the Max Holloway and Calvin Kattar fight on Saturday and I’ll be having tests the day prior to the other 2 cards, also the one in prior to flying house.
Battle Island consists of simply 3 areas, which you can just move in between through the UFC shuttle bus. There’s a hotel for media and UFC personnel, a much grander hotel (more on that in a minute) for the fighters and after that the newly-built Etihad Arena where all battles will occur.
You can not go for a walk, you can not stroll to the beach, you can not cycle anywhere– you should remain within the borders of the 3 areas.
It’s an extremely good hotel and after that you see where the fighters are holed up!
There’s a fitness center that is continuously kept an eye on and cleaned up, a number of pool and a great area to walk and take in the regularly sun-soaked views.
The stores and hair stylists within the hotel that would generally be open are closed due to COVID. Still, as the only group in the hotel, the personnel are surprisingly handy.
It’s quite remarkable. As quickly as you stroll in, it looks every inch the palatial setting Dana White has been used to and this is enhanced when you understand there is an F1 track outdoors and a marina!
The media spaces lie on the ground flooring and en path to them you’ll discover last minute weight-cutting locations, fitness centers in addition to glamorous lounges and bars.
For a concept of what the fighter’s suites appear like, have a look at Dustin Poirier’s space listed below, which comes total with an edible octagon and action figure.
UFC light-weight Paul Felder informed talkSPORT his space was huge enough for him to ‘do laps around it’ if he wished to. He likewise had them specifically suit a bike he desired so he might train throughout the quarantine procedure and it’s thought those on Yas Island have actually assisted satisfy lots of, lots of fighter demands.
Fighters have actually been running and doing pad work around the premises of their hotel, too, utilizing the wonderful weather condition. It appears an extremely unwinded environment; you may anticipate more stress with 3 huge battle cards on the horizon!
The arena is still quite under building and will be right up till battle night.
Nevertheless, all of the precaution are quite in location, as are the personnel that will impose them. Even strolling through as media we were informed to sanitise our hands at every point, keep a range in between our peers and keep moving.
The seats have actually been defined inside the arena where individuals can and can’t sit. There’s few fans per row and they are spaced out over rather a range. What result that will have on the environment is difficult to state, however there is no doubt that security precedes here.
There are protective boards up to separate the crowd from the flooring and there will be personnel sanitising the floor/octagon at every period.
Guidelines for fans
UFC and authorities at the Etihad Arena have actually put guidelines in location for those fans fortunate enough to be going to these occasions.
As far as looking for the infection goes, upon showing up to the place entryway, all viewers will go through a check of their legitimate 48-hour PCR test, thermal scanning and ticket checks. Viewers will need to provide the AlHosn App OR a medical center report for the legitimate 48-Hour PCR test. Additionally, any viewer proving indications of high fever or without a legitimate 48-hour PCR COVID-19 test will be rejected entry without any refunds to their ticket.
Fans are informed that using a face mask is constantly obligatory within the place– even when seated– and they should comply with social distancing standards around the place.
Food and non-alcoholic drinks through hawkers or through physical concessions at the place, however you can simply buy it from your seat, too.
Alcohol WILL be readily available through hawkers and physical concessions at the place.
All purchases are through contactless payments. Sanitisation of the place will occur prior to the occasion and sanitisers are put all around the place.