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Fight Island: Video history of MMA’s most intriguing concept

Take a walk through the history of fight islands, from Bruce Lee’s “Enter the Dragon,” to Calvin Ayre’s fugitive resort, to Dana White’s latest vision.

Fight Island: It’s an idea that’s captured the imagination of fans around the world. The promise of a place where the Coronavirus will be held at bay, where UFC fights can continue undisturbed by the pandemic that is still growing in numbers across the globe.

Where is it? What will it look like? How will UFC operate things safely? These are all questions we still don’t have answers to. But, in this new video from SBN MMA, we look into the history of other Fight Islands past, both the real and the imaginary. No example is better than Han’s secret island in “Enter the Dragon,” but fans have also made comparisons to the Outworld in Mortal Kombat and wondered if Dana White will have a Dr. Evil-style lair a la Austin Powers.

And if you were following mixed martial arts back in the breakout days of 2006, you may remember online casino fugitive Calvin Ayre’s Bodogfight series, which took place entirely outside of America so the federal government couldn’t arrest him for hundreds of millions of dollars worth of illegal gambling earnings. His Fight Island was in Costa Rica and featured a couple of faces you might recognize: Chael Sonnen, Jorge Masvidal, Eddie Alvarez, Roy Nelson, Jake Shields and Shayna Baszler, among others.

Ayre’s vision featured a ring on the beach covered by a massive palapa and scores of scantily clad models ringside. UFC’s version will probably be a bit less bling and more bare. As few employees and officials and cornermen as possible, and a building that will probably be locked down and easy to disinfect. But if it means a safe way to return to action for UFC fighters, we’re all for it.

Hopefully, UFC pulls this thing off properly. All we can really do is hope, because in the end there’s only so much you can do to assure safety in a pandemic like this.

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