More UFC in Hawaii talk

May 27th, 2008

Prior to BJ Penn’s fight with Joe Stevenson in January, I was able to talk to UFC President Dana White and asked him about the possibility of the UFC holding an event in Hawaii. The story, which can be found here, details how Aloha Stadium is where White wants to do his first outdoor UFC event. The only hold up is the state’s regulation of mixed martial arts, which doesn’t go into effect until July 1st of next year.

After Penn’s win against Sherk Saturday night in Las Vegas, White was again asked about having an event in Hawaii. “When we do, do an outdoor, big stadium, it will definitely be in Hawaii,” was his response.

When I last spoke to White, he was very adamant about waiting for the regulations to go into effect, saying he didn’t want to be “like all the other cheese dog shows” that have held events here. He also expressed an interest in showcasing a few Japanese fighters to cash in on the Japanese influence here in Hawaii.

Obviously BJ Penn would be the headliner, but who would he fight? With all the talk and the sudden momentum for a Penn/Georges St.-Pierre rematch, I can’t see that fight not happening in the next 12 months if GSP gets by Jon Fitch and Penn, if it’s not GSP, runs through the Kenny Florian/Roger Huerta winner. Could this be the time the UFC throws a bunch of money at Takanori Gomi to fight Penn in a rematch of their fight in Rumble on the Rock from a few years back? Who knows. With so many questions regarding Penn’s future and what weight class he fights at, it’s hard to think of a suitable opponent for him a year from now.

Whatever happens, one thing is for sure. The UFC at Aloha Stadium would be the measuring stick to see just how big the sport of MMA is in Hawaii. It will be very interesting to see how many people would attend. I believe the record for attendance for a mixed martial arts event in the United States is 19,000 (Silva/Franklin rematch in Ohio). If BJ Penn drew 12,000 + to the K-1 show three years ago, I think 20,000 a year from now is a legit possibility.

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One Response to “More UFC in Hawaii talk”

  1. nih asthma treatment guidelines:

    A nice simple article but it reads as though the writters first language is not English. An editor would be welcome.

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