UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has no problem with the idea of competing on a mysterious island – to him it sounds like a great scene in the movie of his life.

The 30-year-old has been training in his Auckland home after the lockdown restrictions came in for the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile in the United States, his UFC boss Dana White had been frantically trying to keep holding events despite state quarantines and social distancing rules.

This included UFC 249, which White had planned to host without fans in attendance, and was only postponed a week before its scheduled date in mid-April after White was contacted by management from official broadcaster ESPN and its owners Disney telling him not to go ahead.


Another left-field idea which White has announced is 'Fight Island', where UFC events will be held on a currently undisclosed private island, as fighters and their teams are flown in to train and compete in a 'bubble'.

Subscribe to Premium

Speaking via Skype to MMA Junkie this week, Adesanya (19-0) confirmed he would be available to go to this island for his previously planned title bout with undefeated Brazilian Paula Costa (13-0).

"Not officially [announced], but we've let them know our interest, we've piqued our interest," Adesanya said.

"We're ready; we've kind of given them a date, or a schedule, a timeframe where I feel like [I could fight].

"I'm about 60 per cent in shape right now, I'm not in fight shape, but I could still fight Costa in this shape.

"June-July, but we'll see.

"I like Fight Island, the cinema I have in my head, because I'm the protagonist [good guy], right, and Costa would be the antagonist [bad guy] at the end of this movie.

"It just seems like Mortal Kombat."


Adesanya would also want his City Kickboxing teammates in Alexander Volkanovski and Dan Hooker to be there at the same time with bouts of their own.

"I like the idea, with my teammates, because they say they're going to have training facilities.

"Sounds good, I mean, it's not my first time being away from my comforts and isolated, all I do is just eat, sleep, train, repeat."

Israel Adesanya after winning the UFC middleweight title in October last year. Photo / Photosport
Israel Adesanya after winning the UFC middleweight title in October last year. Photo / Photosport

Adesanya had been scheduled to fight Costa on March 8, but an injury to the Brazilian saw him instead defeat the dangerous Cuban Yoel Romero (13-5) in a dour main event at UFC 248 in Las Vegas.

One of the criticisms leveled at Adesanya after the bout, where Romero would not engage and the champion also chose to be cautious, was that he should not have taken the fight and instead waited until Costa had recovered.

However, the call was looking very wise in hindsight, given many UFC fighters are currently missing out on important paydays due to the cancellation of events in the past two months because of Covid-19.


"I'm happy with that [decision] just because I have a lot of other things outside [fighting], like investments that I take care of," Adesanya said.

"Knowing that I fought, and [financially] I feel secure, I'm moving ahead with some other plans now.

"It's a blessing in disguise, because this corona s**t came out of nowhere."

Costa, an aggressive wrestler, was in attendance for the Romero fight and told the media how unimpressed he was with the Kiwi kickboxer, but in making predictions for their eventual scrap, Adesanya said he would bring more than just counter-striking.

"You'll be surprised how I'm going to walk him down, at a certain point in this fight, how he'll be the one taking a backward step.

"I look forward to this game, because a lot of people after that fight [doubt me].


"It's perfect, I let them sleep on me.

"This bit, is going to be the bit where I just blow everything out the water and rise to the occasion.

"I'm finishing him, I'm knocking him out."

Covid 19 coronavirus: UFC boss Dana White targeting stacked return event in early May
Premium - UFC: Alexander Volkanovski wants to defend his title on card with Israel Adesanya on UFC Fight Island
'How did I even get here?': UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya reflects on rise to the top
Dana White blasts media over calls for UFC 249 to be cancelled

While he has his share of overseas critics, back home, Adesanya is riding a wave of popularity, which only grew last month when it was announced he had paid for 10,000 face masks and 1000 face shields to be donated to Whanganui Hospital, and then did the same for Auckland and Lagos in Nigeria.

"My mum works [in the Whanganui emergency department], and she sees what happens behind the scenes, so she let me know what's really happening.


"It was her suggestion that, 'would you be able to help out'? I'm like, 'oh yeah, I'm rich', so I'll help out at the hospital down there.

"Then I thought, why not help out Auckland as well, and then help out my birth city of Lagos.

"I can't help out the whole world, but I can help out the communities that I've been a part of.

"If me throwing some money at a problem can help, then sure, because I'm not on the frontline, I'm not like my mum, on the frontline actually putting herself at risk."