When UFC President Dana White recommended the thought of Combat Island, it sounded loopy to many.
How wouldn’t it work? Is it an octagon on the seashore? Was he going to easily purchase an island? How would fighters get there? So many questions arose and White had all of the solutions.
Combat Island wasn’t a model new concept as a lot because it was an previous resolution delivered to life as soon as once more. UFC had arrange camp on Yas Island within the United Arab Emirates again in 2010 for UFC 112 and 10 years later, they made their method again.
So what’s it like right here? talkSPORT has made the journey to Combat Island to observe all three exhibits UFC has deliberate between January 16-23 culminating in Conor McGregor’s return to the octagon.
To start with, UFC’s security protocols are as stringent as you can probably think about. No corners are being minimize they usually have gone to nice expense to make sure everybody’s security.
I needed to have two COVID-19 exams earlier than I might get on the airplane over right here. One was ten days earlier than flying, the opposite about 36 hours earlier than. After taking the second check, we quarantined in a lodge room by Heathrow airport.
As soon as they got here again damaging, we flew to Abu Dhabi. Upon arrival at our lodge, we had one other check instantly and quarantined once more. A brand new day introduced yet one more check and additional quarantining and so the primary two days was nothing however admiring the sunshine from a lodge room window, though the promotion and their UAE hosts have been very accommodating whereas making certain everybody’s security.
I had one other check on Friday morning to verify I used to be in a position to attend the Max Holloway and Calvin Kattar combat on Saturday and I’ll be having exams the day earlier than the opposite two playing cards, as effectively the one in earlier than flying house.
Combat Island contains of simply three places, which you’ll be able to solely transfer between through the UFC shuttle. There’s a lodge for media and UFC employees, a a lot grander lodge (extra on that in a minute) for the fighters after which the newly-built Etihad Enviornment the place all fights will happen.
You can’t go for a stroll, you can not stroll to the seashore, you can not cycle wherever – you could keep throughout the boundaries of the three places.
It’s a really good lodge and then you definitely see the place the fighters are holed up!
There’s a gymnasium that’s always monitored and cleaned, a few swimming swimming pools and a pleasant area to stroll round and take within the persistently sun-soaked views.
The retailers and hairdressers throughout the lodge that might normally be open are closed as a consequence of COVID. Nonetheless, as the one group within the lodge, the employees are amazingly useful.
It’s fairly superb. As quickly as you stroll in, it seems each inch the palatial setting Dana White has been used to and that is strengthened if you realise there may be an F1 observe outdoors and a marina!
The media rooms are situated on the bottom flooring and en path to them you’ll discover final minute weight-cutting areas, gyms along with luxurious lounges and bars.
For an concept of what the fighter’s suites seem like, take a look at Dustin Poirier’s room beneath, which comes full with an edible octagon and motion determine.
UFC light-weight Paul Felder informed talkSPORT his room was large enough for him to ‘do laps round it’ if he wished to. He additionally had them specifically slot in a motorcycle he wished so he might prepare in the course of the quarantine course of and it’s believed these on Yas Island have helped fulfil many, many fighter requests.
Fighters have been working and doing pad work across the grounds of their lodge, too, making use of the implausible climate. It appears a really relaxed environment; you may anticipate extra pressure with three massive combat playing cards on the horizon!
The sector remains to be very a lot beneath development and will probably be proper up till combat evening.
Nonetheless, all the security measures are very a lot in place, as are the employees that may implement them. Even strolling via as media we have been informed to sanitise our fingers at each juncture, maintain a distance between our friends and maintain shifting.
The seats have been marked out inside the sector the place individuals can and may’t sit. There’s not many followers per row and they’re spaced out over fairly a distance. What impact that may have on the environment is difficult to say, however there isn’t any doubt that security comes first right here.
There are protecting boards as much as separate the group from the ground and there will probably be employees sanitising the ground/octagon at each interval.
Guidelines for followers
UFC and officers on the Etihad Enviornment have put guidelines in place for these followers fortunate sufficient to be attending these occasions.
So far as checking for the virus goes, upon arriving to the venue entrance, all spectators will bear a test of their legitimate 48-hour PCR check, thermal scanning and ticket checks. Spectators should current the AlHosn App OR a medical middle report for the legitimate 48-Hour PCR check. Moreover, any spectator exhibiting indicators of excessive fever or with no legitimate 48-hour PCR COVID-19 check will probably be denied entry with no refunds to their ticket.
Followers are informed that sporting a face masks is at all times necessary throughout the venue – even when seated – they usually should adhere to social distancing tips in and across the venue.
Meals and non-alcoholic drinks via hawkers or through bodily concessions on the venue, however you’ll be able to simply order it out of your seat, too.
Alcohol WILL be obtainable via hawkers and bodily concessions on the venue.
All purchases are via contactless funds. Sanitisation of the venue will happen previous to the occasion and sanitisers are positioned throughout the venue.