When UFC President Dana White steered the thought of Struggle Island, it sounded loopy to many.
How wouldn’t it work? Is it an octagon on the seaside? Was he going to easily purchase an island? How would fighters get there? So many questions arose and White had all of the solutions.
Struggle Island wasn’t a model new thought as a lot because it was an outdated resolution dropped at life as soon as once more.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 Struggle 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 might presumably think about. No corners are being reduce and so they have gone to nice expense to make sure everybody’s security.
I needed to have two COVID-19 checks 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 guaranteeing 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 battle on Saturday and I’ll be having checks the day earlier than the opposite two playing cards, as effectively the one in earlier than flying residence.
Struggle Island includes of simply three areas, which you’ll solely transfer between through the UFC shuttle. There’s a lodge for media and UFC workers, 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’t stroll to the seaside, you can’t cycle anyplace – it’s essential to keep inside the boundaries of the three areas.
It’s a really good lodge and then you definitely see the place the fighters are holed up!
There’s a gymnasium that’s continually monitored and cleaned, a few swimming swimming pools and a pleasant area to stroll round and take within the constantly sun-soaked views.
The outlets and hairdressers inside the lodge that may normally be open are closed attributable to COVID. Nonetheless, as the one group within the lodge, the workers are amazingly useful.
It’s fairly wonderful. As quickly as you stroll in, it seems to be each inch the palatial setting Dana White has been used to and that is strengthened whenever you realise there’s an F1 observe exterior and a marina!
The media rooms are positioned 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 thought of what the fighter’s suites appear to be, try 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 sufficiently big 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 practice throughout 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 ambiance; you may count on extra rigidity with three massive battle playing cards on the horizon!
The sector remains to be very a lot underneath building and will likely be proper up till battle evening.
Nonetheless, all the security measures are very a lot in place, as are the workers that can implement them. Even strolling via as media we have been informed to sanitise our palms at each juncture, preserve a distance between our friends and preserve shifting.
The seats have been marked out inside the sector the place individuals can and might’t sit. There’s not many followers per row and they’re spaced out over fairly a distance. What impact that can have on the ambiance is tough 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 likely be workers 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 examine of their legitimate 48-hour PCR check, thermal scanning and ticket checks. Spectators must current the AlHosn App OR a medical middle report for the legitimate 48-Hour PCR check. Moreover, any spectator displaying indicators of excessive fever or with out a legitimate 48-hour PCR COVID-19 check will likely be denied entry with no refunds to their ticket.
Followers are informed that carrying a face masks is all the time necessary inside the venue – even when seated – and so they 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 possibly can simply order it out of your seat, too.
Alcohol WILL be accessible 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.