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Official COVID-19 safety protocol for fans attending UFC’s upcoming ‘Fight Island’ events

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UFC Fight Island Previews Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will return to “Fight Island” for a three-event showcase later this month and the promotion plans to bring a limited amount fight fans back for the action.

Earlier this week, it was announced that a fans will be allowed to attend UFC’s upcoming events on Jan. 16, Jan. 20, and Jan. 23. The final event will be UFC 257 live on ESPN+ PPV, featuring a main event rematch between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. It is expected that close to 2,000 fight fans will be able to attend each of the three UFC events.

This will be the first time UFC will allow fans to attend a pay-per-view (PPV) event since UFC 248 in March 2020, which saw Israel Adesanya defend his UFC Middleweight title against Yoel Romero. The rampant COVID-19 pandemic prohibited UFC from bringing fans in for any of its events from March through December of last year. UFC made due and worked around coronavirus limitations by staging fights at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the specially-crafted “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi for international talent.

Now that fans will be returning for UFC’s first three events in 2021, new COVID-19 protocols needs to be put in place to assure safe shows. During the sale of tickets for each upcoming event the Etihad Arena website listed the below safety measures being put in place for UFC’s return to “Fight Island.”

  1. Upon arriving to the venue entrance, all spectators will undergo a check of their valid 48-hour PCR test, thermal scanning and ticket checks. Spectators will have to present the AlHosn App OR a medical center report for the valid 48-Hour PCR test.
  2. Any spectator showing signs of high fever or does not have a valid 48-hour PCR COVID-19 test will be denied entry with no refunds to their ticket.
  3. Wearing a face mask is always mandatory within the venue, even when seated.
  4. Adhere to social distancing guidelines in and around the venue.
  5. Contactless payments are required.
  6. Food and non-alcoholic beverages can be ordered from your seat and through hawkers or via physical concessions at the venue.
  7. Alcohol will be available through hawkers and physical concessions at the venue.
  8. Sanitization of the venue will take place prior to the event.
  9. Sanitizers are placed around the venue.

Here are some additional measures being taken at Etihad Arena:

  • No bags or strollers are allowed into the venue.
  • The arena is paperless — tickets must be downloaded to a mobile device.
  • Social distancing requirements are to stay two meters apart from those outside your group at all times.
  • Stickers mark safe distances in areas where fans are required to stand in line.
  • Contactless payments are preferred inside the venue.
  • There is no readmission to the arena.
  • Original identification is required (passport, UAE & CCC ID card only).
  • Fans should allow up to one hour for COVID-19 and security checks.

We will have to wait and see if these extra safety precautions will work and allow UFC to continue to bring fans in for events on “Fight Island.” The next step would be to start bringing fans in for events on American soil, which has already begun in states like Texas for boxing’s biggest fights.

For more news on upcoming UFC events click here.