UFC Fight Island: Declassified, a new thought-provoking, four-part docuseries on UFC’s challenge to produce a major sports event when much of the world was shut down, will premiere next Friday, October 2, exclusively on ESPN+.
Featuring never before seen footage of UFC President Dana White, UFC athletes, coaches, UFC announcers, production crew, security personnel, medical staff, and more, UFC Fight Island: Declassified chronicles all that went into producing UFC 251 on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi this past summer.
Each episode takes fans deep behind the scenes with special access to the key characters involved in creating an unprecedented series of UFC events, while examining the importance of sport in uncertain times.
All four episodes will be available to stream exclusively on ESPN+ when the series debuts. UFC Fight Island: Declassified was produced by UFC and directed by award-winning filmmaker Rory Karpf.
“The creation of Fight Island was an innovative approach to safely stage live events during a pandemic, requiring the unique vision and determination of Dana White and UFC,” said Matt Kenny, vice president, programming and acquisitions, ESPN. “It’s an intriguing, engaging story that connects with both die-hard and casual fans alike. Just one more reason why ESPN+ is proud to be the home of UFC, and we’re excited to showcase this behind-the-scenes look at Fight Island.”
Episode 1: Uncharted Waters – With unprecedented access to White as he makes the impossible possible, the first episode captures his fight to bring UFC back as the first major sport to produce live events in the COVID era.
Episode 2: No Man an Island – Embedded with several UFC athletes and their teams as they deal with a myriad of challenges, the second episode shows how one fighter is forced to rely only on his best friend to coach him after his entire training team tests positive for COVID-19. Also, while Joseph Benavidez fights for a UFC title, with his wife and UFC broadcaster Megan Olivi by his side, the couple face unforeseen adversity.
Episode 3: Against the Tide – Episode three follows UFC athletes as the coronavirus impacts their family and loved ones, including one fighter who must make his UFC debut with his family locked down in a different part of the world, and another who may be forced to relinquish his championship dreams after being exposed to the virus.
Episode 4: Welcome to Paradise – As the first live events at Fight Island conclude, the UFC has defied the odds and Abu Dhabi will become the new fight capital of the world. Also, a new superstar emerges, displaying a dominance never before been seen in the UFC, and a veteran competitor aims to re-establish herself as the reigning queen of women’s combat.
UFC Fight Island: Declassified premieres Friday, October 2nd, in the midst of UFC’s five-event return to Fight Island, which begins tonight with UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa and culminates with UFC 254: Khabib vs Gaethje on October 25, one of the most anticipated ESPN+ PPV events of the year.