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UFC eyes first outdoor event in Hawaii in 2008

ufc envent in hawaii 2008 aloha stadium
Note: A more recent article in the Star-Bulletin recently notes that mixed martial arts will not be officially regulated in Hawaii until January 1, 2009 -- perhaps putting the plan UFC President Dana White mention below on hold.

Aloha Stadium -- the largest outdoor arena in Hawaii with a 50,000-seat capacity -- is the likely destination for a blockbuster show that includes stars from PRIDE FC and the UFC sometime in 2008, according to recent statements from UFC President Dana White in the Star-Bulletin.

Here's a snip from White:

"I'm working on that right now as a matter of fact. I've wanted to bring one there for a long time and now that we have acquired PRIDE, I think it's the perfect time to do that big stadium because it would pull a lot of Americans and a lot of Japanese fans. Next year, believe me [it will] happen. It will be our first outdoor fight. We've never done it before because it has always scared the (expletive) out of me."

This is a little confusing because White singles out PRIDE FC, but then the article talks about Hawaii natives and UFC fighters BJ Penn and Kendall Grove possibly being featured on the card if it happens.

Regardless, whether it's a UFC or PRIDE FC show -- or a mix of both -- it will no doubt be a hit in the "Aloha State." Hawaii has a strong connection to mixed marital arts thanks in large part to the ICON Sport promotion, which has been putting shows on since 1995 throughout the state.

For the fighters, an outdoor event like this will pose different challenges such as tiring faster and sweating more because of the hot conditions. Look no further than the BoDog shows from Costa Rica currently airing for proof of that.

The largest MMA crowd to date to attend a show in Hawaii is 12,000, which was established when BJ Penn defeated Renzo Gracie during the K-1: "World Grand Prix Hawaii" event at Aloha Stadium in 2005.

Something tells me that if and when the UFC invades Oahu that number is bound to be smashed.

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