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Morning Report: Dana White says the UFC wants to hold event in Hawaii with Max Holloway but ‘does the tourism board want it?’

Dana White
Dana White
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

It sounds like Dana White is back at the negotiating table, but this time it’s not a disgruntled fighter sitting across from him, it’s the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Over the years, the question of whether or not the UFC would ever do a show in the 50th State has become increasingly common. The rise of Max Holloway to the UFC featherweight championship as well as the hotbed of talent from the area has only increased the calls for UFC Hawaii. This past weekend White visited Honolulu to see an event as part of his Lookin’ For A Fight series and while there, the UFC President was reminded of how great the atmosphere is in Hawaii.

“This place has been the spot for mixed-martial arts since the late 90s,” White told KHON2. “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.”

But just because White knows Hawaii would be a great destination to go to, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. The UFC attempted to host a card in Hawaii a few years ago but ultimately couldn’t come to terms with the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Reportedly, the UFC wanted financial compensation to bring an event there but the two parties couldn’t agree on a number (supposedly Bellator MMA, who hosted an event in Hawaii last year and plans to do another later this year, did not have such issues in dealing with the HTA). So, despite he and his Hawaiian champion both wanting to make it happen, White says he’s not sure the HTA is as keen on it.

“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.”

Holloway has been campaigning for the UFC to come to Hawaii for years. For now, he’ll just have to settle for Dana White’s reality television show.


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It remains hilarious to me that Dana negotiates the exact same way regardless of whether it’s with a fighter or a government entity. “This is definitely something we want but I don’t know if THEY want it. That’s why they aren’t taking our offer. They’re not interested in it and it has nothing to do with us not paying them the amount they want.”

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



UFC Hawaii, does it happen?

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    (564 votes)
  • 18%
    (213 votes)
  • 32%
    It will after Max retires, because MMA.
    (372 votes)
1149 votes total Vote Now

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