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UFC 257: Dana White bringing fans back for Conor McGregor on ‘Fight Island’

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And also has plans to resurrect International Fight Week.

UFC 205 Open Workouts Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) two-division champion Conor McGregor is making his return to mixed martial arts (MMA) in just over two months, and promotion president Dana White is going to milk him for every last drop.

That’s why combat sports fans may have an opportunity to watch “Notorious” when he collides with Dustin Poirier — again — in the UFC 257 pay-per-view (PPV) lightweight main event on Sat., Jan. 23, 2021 on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi.

“It would be good to have fans,” White told Barstool Sports (transcribed by Simon Samano). “And the thing is, from ‘Fight Island’ we can get fans all over the world there. It’s an easy destination to get to, a fun destination to go to, and we can just (expletive) blow the doors off this thing.”

Fans have not been able to attend live UFC events since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down most of the world. In addition, quarantine protocols have restricted White and Co. to the APEX facility in Las Vegas and Flash Forum on Yas Island.

“I’m ready for some fights with fans,” White continued. “I’m ready to go to a live concert. I’m ready to have some parties. I’m gonna go to all this shit. I want to mingle with the fans again. I want the fans back. We’ve figured this whole thing out up to now. We’ll figure out how to do do this safely and pull this thing off in Abu Dhabi.”

White is also planning to make UFC 257 part of the new “International Fight Week” complete with “concerts, pool parties, and all kinds of cool stuff.” That sounds like a logistical nightmare but it could also prove to be a financial windfall, assuming this number still holds true.