Although fight fans in Hawaii are ready and so is the promotion, the Ultimate Fighting Championship isn’t likely to make its Hawaiian debut until at least the second half of 2009.
According to an article by Billy Hull in the Honolulu Star Bulletin, UFC president Dana White had been planning to hold an event at Aloha Stadium as soon as later this year, but mixed martial arts regulation is not yet finalized.
“Thirteen new states regulated MMA last year and Hawaii is one of them,” said White recently, “so we want to come there, but the regs aren’t done yet. We’re not like all these other ‘cheese ball’ shows; we can’t go there until the regs are done.”
What he’s referring to, says Hull, is House Bill 1866, which establishes many new rules that govern MMA in Hawaii. It was enacted into law in July of 2007, but doesn’t go into effect until July 1, 2009.
The UFC has been very aggressive in expanding its markets recently, moving across the United States and the United Kingdom and consistently promising further moves across Europe and into Canada, so its not unreasonable to think that it will set up the Octagon in Honolulu as soon as regulation goes into effect.