UFC chief says MMA future bleak in Hawaii


POSTED: Friday, November 21, 2008

Local mixed martial arts promotions aside, Hawaii seems unlikely to ever draw a major national card—at least if UFC president Dana White is to be believed.

White, in town to promote the Ultimate Fighting Championship's Jan. 31 fight between champions BJ Penn and George St.-Pierre, says the chances of holding a UFC event in Hawaii are all but dead.

The reason? It's too expensive, White says.

“;We finally get some regulations and they slap this huge tax on us that's out of control, so probably never,”; White says. “;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.'”;

The bill regulating MMA in Hawaii, which goes into effect July 1, has already hurt local MMA promotions—including Icon Sport, which held possibly its last show in August after an 11-year run—and X-1, which hasn't done an event at Blaisdell Arena since May and has been staging its recent shows at much smaller venues.

“;Greed got involved and it's a travesty,”; Penn said. “;The real travesty of the whole situation is the children who love fighting and train in people's gyms and love fighting now have people coming in who know nothing about the sport step in and ruin it for the kids.

“;They really should step back and think about what they are doing, forget about the greed factor, and step up and let the sport grow and flourish instead of being greedy.”;