Rob DeMello of the KOHN 2 News made Hawaiin MMA fans very happy this morning when he announced that Bellator MMA would be making the organizations inaugural trip to Hawaii this December. A big win for the organization in a market that had been previously targeted by the UFC.
The event is rumored to take place on December 15th in Honolulu. With Hawaii’s own Ilima-Lei Macfarlane defending her Flyweight title against former UFC fighter Valerie Letourneau on the DAZN Network. Both women previously spoke about wanting this fight in Hawaii.
This is a big win for Bellator and it will be interesting to see what UFC President Dana White thinks about Bellator getting there first. As recently as this past April White told Sam Spangler of the Hawaii KHON 2 news,
“I’ll tell you guys today we were working. Hawaii was happening this year, and it got shut down by the tourism board there (Hawaii Tourism Authority),” White said. “So it won’t happen anytime soon, but we were geared up and ready to go there this year. Isn’t happening.”
KHON2 also reported that the UFC wanted a 6 million dollar sponsorship fee and the HTA was only willing to offer 1 million, though those reports were never confirmed by the UFC. Apparently Bellator was more than willing to make some of the concessions that the UFC took issue with.
Your move Dana White.