by: Jack Bratcher
At a time when MMA is legal in almost every state in the Union and the sport’s largest proponent, the UFC is poised to take over the world, one place the UFC will not be holding an event anytime in the foreseeable future is Hawaii.
Although UFC President Dana White and two of his champions, B.J. Penn and Georges St. Pierre are in Hawaii today holding a press conference to promote their title fight at UFC 94 and even though MMA is wildly popular on the islands, White has stated that it is too expensive to hold an event there.
When asked when the UFC would be coming to Hawaii, White responded, “We finally get some regulations and they slap this huge tax on us that’s out of control, so probably never. I guess it’s their way of saying ‘OK, we’ll sanction this, but we’ll make sure nobody ever shows up and comes and does an event here.’”
There is a new bill regulating MMA in Hawaii which goes into effect on July 1st and it has reportedly already hurt local MMA promotions. After eleven years in operation, Icon Sport held what is likely their last event in August and X-1 has had to move their shows to smaller venues.
B.J. Penn says it all boils down to greed and the real travesty is that kids who love MMA and are training for a possible future in the sport are the ones who will be hurt.