UFC may not require Fight Island after US issues travel exemption for foreign athletes

Conor McGregor, Fight Island
Image via @thenotoriousmma on Instagram

A new travel exemption in the United States could mean that the proposed Fight Island idea will no longer be required by the UFC.

For weeks now we’ve been waiting to see whether or not UFC president Dana White would give the green light for Fight Island to take place, with a recent report indicating that it could happen as soon as July.

Alas, while some fans are still holding out hope that it could happen, a recent announcement from Homeland Security could mean that foreign athletes are able to travel over to the US after all.

“In support of the Trump Administration’s reopening of the economy, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf signed an order that exempts certain foreign professional athletes who compete in professional sporting events organized by certain leagues, including their essential staff and their dependents, from proclamations barring their entry into the U.S,” a release on the DHS website read. 

“Professional sporting events provide much needed economic benefits, but equally important, they provide community pride and national unity,” said Acting Secretary Wolf in the same release. “In today’s environment, Americans need their sports. It’s time to reopen the economy and it’s time we get our professional athletes back to work.”

“The order, signed on May 22, 2020, states that it is in the national interest to except aliens who compete in professional sporting events organized by certain professional sporting groups, including their professional staff, team and league leadership, spouses, and dependents, from entry restrictions laid out in Proclamations 9984, 9992, 9993, and 9996.”

While the Ultimate Fighting Championship wasn’t mentioned specifically in the brief, it’s public knowledge that White has a close relationship with President Donald Trump, which could benefit him here. 

There’s every chance that Dana White will push ahead with Fight Island in order to really give fans something to get excited about, but on the other hand, perhaps this was nothing more than a bluff.