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Dana White plans to go ahead with UFC 249 on private island amid coronavirus shutdown

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UFC President Dana White told TMZ Sports late Monday night that he has made alternate plans for the upcoming UFC 249, which was scheduled for April 18 at Barclays Center before coronavirus shut down the city: a private island.

“We’re getting the infrastructure put in now, so I’m gonna start doing the international fights too with international fighters. Because I won’t be able to get international fighters, all of them into the U.S., so I have a private island and I’m gonna start flying them all into the private island and doing international fights from there,” he said. “We have all our own planes and everything.”

White said he’s “a day or two” away from securing the island, where he plans to host weekly fights for at least two months.

He also promised tests for athletes before they fight to ensure they are “100 percent healthy.”

“We’ve been working on this since the world fell apart and every day, when we’d work on something, we’d wake up the next day and the world would change,” White told TMZ Sports. “This is definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”

After some last-minute adjustments and rescheduling, the current card for UFC 249 includes Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje, Rose Namajunas vs. Jessica Andrade, Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan De Castro.

White was one of the sports leaders on a conference call with President Trump Saturday, during which Trump expressed a desire to return to business as usual soon.

“I want fans back in the arenas,” Trump told reporters after the call. “Whenever we’re ready. As soon as we can obviously. The fans want to be back, too. They want to see baseball and basketball and football and hockey, they want to see their sports. They want to go out onto the golf courses and breathe nice, clean, beautiful fresh air.

“I can’t tell you a date but I think it’s going to be sooner rather than later. We’re not going to have to have separation for the rest of our times on the planet. We need it for this period of time but eventually people are going to be able to occupy those seats in arenas next to each other like we have for all of my life, all of your life.”

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