Dana White Interested In Putting On An Event In Hawaii With Max Holloway
Dana White has spoken about wanting to put on an event in Hawaii, with the Max Holloway being the current champion at 145. However, as per White, it is not the UFC, but the Hawaii Tourism Authority that is making things difficult.
UFC recently crowned the first ever Chinese champion when Weili Zhang defeated Jessica Andrade. Not only does it help the promotion put on more events in China, but finally gave them a foothold in the market. Dana White knows that with Max Holloway, UFC can add Hawaii to their list of countries that is ripe for business.
Dana White was recently asked if UFC would be interested in entering the Hawaiian market while filming for his Lookin’ For A Fight series, and Dana revealed that it wasn’t him that was delaying the proceedings.
“This place has been the spot for mixed-martial arts since the late 90s”, White told KHON2 (transcript via MMA Fighting). “I haven’t been out here for a fight in awhile so it was good to be back. I had Max with me seeing some of the local guys, but the main event was the fight I was really interested in. It was great. I love being out here watching fights.”
UFC did in fact try to host an event in Hawaii not too long ago. However, the promotion couldn’t reach an agreement with the Hawaii Tourism Authority. According to reports, UFC wanted financial compensation for hosting the event, but couldn’t find an amicable ground with HTA.
“Max wants it bad”, White said. “Listen, we want to come here. We love this place. We got the get this thing figured out eventually. We’ll see. We’ll see what happens. I want it, does the tourism board want it? Do they or do they not? If they do, we’ll come. If not, we understand.”
Bellator MMA has already hosted an event in Hawaii, and will be coming back with another card later this year. The Viacom-backed promotion did not face such issues with HTA, and it will be interesting to see where this goes.