For the first time since 2010, a UFC championship has returned to Hawaiian soil.
One night after capturing the interim featherweight title, Waianae’s Max Holloway (17-3) arrived in the islands Sunday evening at the Honolulu International Airport 12 lbs. heavier, in the form of gold.
The 25-year-old joins former lightweight and welterweight champion BJ Penn as the only Hawaii natives to ever capture a UFC title.
He etched his name into the history books in Toronto Saturday night by beating former lightweight champ Anthony Pettis in the main-event of UFC 206, via a third-round TKO.
The win was the 10th straight for Holloway, becoming the 6th longest win-streak in UFC history.
And although a bout with Jose Aldo for the undisputed title at 145 lbs. remains at the forefront, Holloway has big plans for his paradise.
“Coming home as a champion is a great feeling,” he said. “I got a gold belt, but on the surface, it’s just the beginning.
“I’m up there with the all-tine greats, with 10 consecutive wins, names like Anderson Silva … and Demetrious Johnson.
“Things are just getting started,” Holloway said. “We got so much great fighters here, some of those guys that want to show their worth. It’s time to bring the UFC to Hawaii and I think having a gold belt is a big help.”
He added that fans should do a hashtag on social media of #wheresjosewaldo to help spur on a fight against Jose Aldo. Aldo, the non-interim featherweight champ has yet to respond.