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Scott Coker invites HAPPY Max Holloway to Bellator 213 after beating UFC to Hawaii

UFC MMA Seminar
SHANGHAI, CHINA - AUGUST 03: Max Holloway, center, at a MMA Seminar event on August 3, 2017 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Hu Chengwei/Getty Images)
Photo by Hu Chengwei/Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has been trying to stage a mixed martial arts (MMA) event in Hawaii for over a decade, and promotion president Dana White even promised combat sports fans that 2008 would mark the year of the Octagon in “The Aloha State.”

Yeah, about that ...

When the sport chewed up and spit out BJ Penn, as it has done to so many great fighters, there was little-to-no urgency to get UFC to Hawaii. But now that Waianae’s Max Holloway is featherweight champion and one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, it’s time to reconsider.

And more importantly, time to stop blaming the tourism board.

“I’m not going to compare us to other organizations, but we are here first, and it does feel good – regardless of any other organization,” Bellator MMA President Scott Coker told MMA Junkie. “Everybody has choices to make. (The UFC) had choices of whether they want to come do it or not. They decided not to do it, and we did it. I don’t think Max (Holloway) is too happy, but he can come watch our fights Saturday night.”

Sorry Mr. Coker, but he’s very happy, as we learned in today’s spanking.

The former Strikeforce head cheese will stage back-to-back events on Friday and Saturday night, starting with Bellator and USO Present: Salute the Troops, headlined by lightweight champion Brent Primus rematching ex-champion Michael Chandler on both Paramount and DAZN network.

The following evening will be Bellator 213, topped by Hawaii’s Ilima-Lei Macfarlane in a flyweight title defense opposite UFC import Valerie Letourneau, a card that airs exclusively on DAZN and features the Bellator debut of Lyoto Machida.

Holloway appears to have been motivated by the upcoming events.

“Hashtag UFC Hawaii,” Holloway told khon2. “Like I told you guys before, it’s all about you guys. It’s all about the fans. So I’m going to break it down. Go on Instagram. Make a couple fake Instagrams. Listen. Keep listening. Tag your aunty. Tag your uncle. Tag your dog, your cat, people got bird Instagrams now.”

“Tag that girlfriend you wanted to talk to, or that girl you wanted to talk to, that you saw at the Bruno Mars concert not too long ago,” he said. “Even I see grandmas on top of Instagram now. So everybody tag each other and let’s get UFC Hawaii rolling. Let’s get into Aloha Stadium, bring me home. Bruno killed it. I want to be one of those guys.”

Spoiler alert: He already is.

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