The show must go on, according to UFC President Dana White, who is doing everything in his power to keep the world’s #1 MMA promotion going during the Coronavirus shutdown.
A recent Fight Night took place in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, with fighters squaring off in an empty arena featuring only a referee, the broadcast crew, coaches, cutmen, and the small amount of essential personal required for a 1v1 combat sport. White then relocated fights in Portland and Columbus to the UFC’s APEX facility in Las Vegas, but was then forced to axe those cards when further restrictions were imposed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
The biggest fight coming up is Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Numagomedov for the lightweight title, a fight that has been scheduled and cancelled multiple times before. I need to see this fight before I die, and White is committed to making it happen, no matter what:
Dana White on Khabib vs. Tony: Whatever it takes. No crowd. Probably not even in the United States. This fight is going to happen.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) March 16, 2020
It was originally scheduled for April 18th in Brooklyn, which is now a no-go, so they’re looking elsewhere. Both guys seem to be interested in making this work, with Tony previously fighting once outside of the USA in Mexico City and Khabib fighting numerous times in his home country of Russia along with bouts in Ukraine, Brazil, and the UAE.
As such, here’s a list of ten isolated and/or safe places where they might be able to fly these guys in, hold the fight, and then fly home:
This is a super remote archipelago north of Norway in the Arctic Circle, population 2,667.
Fun fact: this place holds a vault that contains seeds from basically every plant/fruit/whatever on the planet, so if we suffer a catastrophe we just go up there and get the seeds and we can restart world agriculture.
This is a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean, not even close to anything else. They have ties to New Zealand, and the airport only flies to and from Auckland, so we’d have to swing the fighters down there to hop a connecting flight.
Place looks fantastic. I wouldn’t mind going:
This is a town in Alaska also known as Barrow.
It’s the northernmost dwelling in the United States. The high school football team up there plays on artificial turf that appears to be sandwiched between a lake and the Arctic Ocean. Apparently they don’t pave the roads because of permafrost, which sounds disconcerting.
Here’s the location on a map:
4. Western Sahara
This is a disputed territory between Morocco and Mauritania. Morocco partially controls it, so we’d have to ask them for permission, I think. I’m not entirely sure.
It’s mostly desert, but there’s a city on the coast called Laayoune that hosts a soccer team called “Jeunesse Sportive d’El Massira,” so maybe they’ll let us use the “Stade Sheikh Mohamed Laghdaf” for the fight.
5. West Virginia
Plenty of social distancing taking place in the Dub V.
There’s absolutely nothing going on in Welch, Parkersburg, or Bluefield even in a non-Coronavirus world, so there are plenty of options in West, by God, Virginia.
6. Easter Island
This is the island with the statues of those big heads. Chilean territory, population about 8,000 people. Build the octagon literally anywhere and let’s go.
Some guy in a pickup truck destroyed one of the statues this year when his brakes failed and he ran it over.
The mayor of Easter Island has called for vehicle restrictions to be introduced around its archaeological sites after a pickup truck hit one of the famous stone statues, causing “incalculable” damage.
A Chilean man who lives on the island, in Polynesia, was arrested after the incident on Sunday and has been charged with damaging a national monument, according to the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio de Valparaíso. The platform on which the statue stood was also damaged in the crash, it reported.
You can’t make this shit up:
7. Tristan da Cunha
I Googled “most remote places on Earth” and this was the first thing that came up. It’s a volcanic island in the South Atlantic Ocean about halfway between Uruguay and Namibia, which is exactly what we’re looking for.
Apparently there’s no airstrip here, which could be problematic. Wikipedia says you gotta take a six-day boat ride from Cape Town to get there. The only settlement appears to be some place called “Edinburgh of the Seven Seas,” which sounds like a great place for a lightweight title fight.
8. McMurdo Station
This is our research base in Antarctica.
Looks like there’s actually a decent amount to do here. They have two coffee shops and a pub. “Gallagher’s” has 19 Google reviews and gets a 4.3 average, with one guy writing this:
“I was there in 2000. I was stationed onboard the USCGC Polar Star. Our mission was to break a channel open through the icepack to Station Mcmurdo for the freighters and tankers. I am not sure if this is the same place… but, the pics look right. We ended up partying with some Russian sailors. In a surreal moment…. they got into a bar fight… with THEMSELVES. But, even that weirdness added to an experience that few can claim.”
This is the island near Yemen and Somalia with the funky trees. They’re called Dracaena cinnabari, or “Dragon’s Blood.”
There’s a town of about 8,000 people on the north side of the territory called “Hadiboh,” which would make for a good Tony/Khabib location.
10. Berks County
Plenty of wide open space up there.
They could fight at the top of the Pagoda. The Oley High School gymnasium isn’t being used. Boyertown’s baseball stadium would make a decent spot. Maybe the Cabela’s at the intersection of 78 and route 61.