Every time Max Holloway walks out to the cage, he’s draped in the Hawaiian flag.
Speaking on a recent edition of the Joe Rogan Experience, Holloway revealed that Reebok — the sports apparel company responsible for the UFC’s fight kits — once tried to put an end to that practice.
“They wasn’t going to let me walk out with the Hawaiian flag,” Holloway said of Reebok (via Bloody Elbow). “When I first started doing it. Cause that’s when the Reebok came out. I couldn’t put Hawaiian flag on my shorts or anything. So I was like, ‘I’m going to walk out with the flag.’ Reebok was stopping it. They were like, ‘you can’t because it’s a state flag.’”
Thankfully, a conversation with UFC President Dana White put an end to this problem for Holloway.
“Dana had to approve me walking out with my flag,” Holloway shared. “I was like, ‘nah, we’re going to talk to Dana…’ Dana texted me and said, ‘That’s stupid as s—t kid, just walk with it.’”
The UFC has had an exclusive outfitting deal with Reebok since 2015. In that time, the partnership has frequently drawn criticism for the paltry sums paid out to the fighters who wear the Reebok gear. This story from Holloway is bound to give skeptics of the UFC-Reebok deal further ammunition.
Max Holloway last fought at UFC 245, when he surrendered the UFC featherweight title to Alexander Volkanovski. Given the competitive nature of the fight, and Holloway’s previous dominance, it sounds as though the pair will rematch in the new year, most likely in Volkanovski’s native Australia. So it sounds like we’ll see Holloway walking out to the cage, toting a Hawaiian flag, once again very soon.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/20/2019.