Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)’s global domination has seen the organization touch down in various spots around the country and the world, including Abu Dhabi, Mexico, Germany and many more than I care to list. However, one place UFC has to yet stage an event in is Hawaii despite having many Hawaiians on its roster, including living legend B.J. Penn and current Featherweight champion, Max Holloway.
“Blessed” has gone on record to express his desire to fight in his native land, but according to UFC President Dana White, there is a very good reason the world’s leading mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion has yet to touch down in Hawaii.
“Nobody wants to fly to Hawaii and do a show more than me and my staff,” White told MMAjunkie. “Who wouldn’t want to go there? And the media? Everybody wants to go there. It’s a tough one to pencil. They don’t have an arena. They have the outside bowl. I’m terrified to do anything outside with fighting. I used to spend a lot of time in Hawaii early on when we bought the company because there were a lot of good fights out there. It rains every 10 minutes. It’s raining, and then it’s beautiful out … it’s raining, then it’s beautiful out. It’s scary, man.”
The last time UFC staged an event outdoors was in 2010, as UFC 112 went down in Abu Dhabi with Anderson Silva headlining the event against Demian Maia. Thankfully, the event went down in without a hitch. Nevertheless, White won't completely rule out the possibility of hitting Hawaii in the future.
“Six months ago, I said we wouldn’t do the (women’s) 125-pound division,” White said. “So I’m not saying no anymore. We’ll see what happens.”
Hawaii has long produced countless prominent MMA stars and UFC would have no issue filling out the event with home-grown talent. And judging by this, it would have no issue filling out a stadium, either. But, Mother Nature is as unpredictable as they come, so staging another outdoor event is one pair of dice White is unwilling to roll ... for now.