UFC president Dana White has confirmed that the promotion are going to bring the Octagon to two key markets, Russia and Hawaii, though he doesn’t have a timeline for exactly when they will happen as things stand.
“Well, we’re going to both. The question is which one first,” White confirmed on UFC Tonight this week. “Which one will we fight in first?
“That remains to be seen. But obviously everybody’s on board to go work UFC Hawaii.”
Hawaii’s always been a destination that White would like to have taken the UFC, but up until this point he’s been extremely hesitant to do so due to the lack of suitable venues for a major show and a potential tax-based stumbling block.
However, thanks to featherweight champion Max Holloway’s rise to fame, there’s now a buzz in Hawaii that hasn’t been seen since BJ Penn’s heyday, and it looks like the UFC are eager to capitalize on that.
That being said, from a global perspective it’s Russia that could have a far greater impact for the UFC both in terms of tapping into another vast and potentially lucrative market, and as such they are currently pooling a lot of resources into finally breaking into the region.
“My whole team is over in London right now working on a Russia deal,” White revealed. “They will come home with a deal in Russia.”
There’s been an influx of Russian fighters in the UFC in recent times, but there’s no doubt that it’s lightweight star Khabib Nurmagomedov that’s led the charge, and Conor McGregor has spoken in the past about the possibility that he could one day fight ‘The Eagle’ in his homeland.