As consistent as Max Holloway’s dominance at the featherweight division, are the postfight questions regarding a possible UFC in Hawaii.
Following Holloway’s UFC 240 victory on Saturday night over Frankie Edgar was no exception as media members asked both UFC president Dana White and the champion about where those plans stand.
Unfortunately for fans of the UFC in the islands, the answer did not bring Holloway any closer to headlining a card in his home state.
“Not very close,” White said with a chuckle during the official post-fight press conference.
That answer is far from not expected at this point, as nearly a year ago the UFC made a proposal to hold UFC 227 at Aloha Stadium in August of 2018. However, after several meetings between UFC brass and the Hawaii Tourism Authority, those plans came to a crashing halt when the HTA refused to pay over $6-million dollars to have the organization bring a pay-per-view card to the islands.
Following negotiations coming to a close, White went on record to say in April of last year that he no longer had any intention of holding a card in Hawaii “anytime soon” after the authority’s refusal.
Since then, there have been no formal discussions between the two sides.
When asked about what he understands about the situation, Holloway made it very clear that the HTA’s refusal to put money into the venture stands as the biggest road block.
“I know, because it’s not a UFC thing, it’s a Hawaii thing. It is a Hawaii thing, like, look, you got Abu Dhabi building, they’re building a stadium for the UFC to come. UFC Hawaii, Hawaii, the state, whatever, they don’t want it that bad. They don’t want it,” said Holloway.
As mentioned by Holloway, UFC 242: Khabib vs. Poirier is planned to take place on September 7, 2019 at du Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates where a brand new 13,000-plus arena is being constructed with an expected August finish for the event.
UFC 242 will mark as the first event since the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) announced in April a five-year agreement with the mixed martial arts promotion.
“Abu Dhabi is building a stadium as we speak right now for a fight, and we have a stadium there. I just think it’s one of those things that Hawaii doesn’t want it that bad,” said Holloway.
When asked if he took exception to that being the superstar that would without a doubt headline the card, Holoway said, “I want to fight at home. Every guy’s dream is to fight at home.”