Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White is planning to host the next fight on a private island despite facing criticism. With nearly all major sporting events across the world being cancelled or postponed in wake of the coronavirus pandemic, White is adamant UFC 249 will go ahead as per original schedule. Also Read - How Novel Coronavirus Affects Your Nervous System?

UFC 249 is scheduled to be held on April 18 and was to be headlined by undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia who was to face Tony Ferguson. However, Khabib has said he won’t leave quarantine in Russia. Also Read - Virus May be an Invisible Enemy, But Our COVID-19 Warriors Are Invincible: PM Modi

“I’ll tell you this, I’m this close to getting a deal done,” White was quoted as saying by The Guardian. “So, this place where this fight is going to be on 18 April, I have locked up for two months, so I’m going to continue to pump fights out. I also secured an island. I’ve got an island. The infrastructure is being built right now. We’re going to do all of our international fights on this island.” Also Read - Over 8,000 COVID-19 Cases Recorded in India For Second Straight Day, Total Tally Goes Beyond 1.90 Lakh Mark; Death Toll at 5,394 | 10 Points

Ferguson will now face Justin Gaethje and White says there will not be any live audience at the event.

“So, when we do this fight 18 April, international and in the United States, we’re going to start cranking. The UFC will be back up and running, internationally and here in the States,” White said hoping the private island will help fighters avoid the trouble of entering US.

“Health and safety is something we worry about all the time, not just during the coronavirus,” White said. “Obviously, this has made our jobs a little tougher, but we’re going to do everything above and beyond to make sure everybody is safe, just we always do. A lot of things will be different,” he said.