Golden era of Hawai’i MMA to live forever
The greatest concentration of fight talent I have ever encountered is Hawai’i – the average guy on a surfboard can fight properly. While the island chain will ever continue to produce world champions like BJ Penn and most recently Max Holloway, the golden age for the sport was 1996 to 2008, and SuperBrawl/Icon Sport was the center.
Alumni from T. Jay Thompson’s efforts include heavyweights Josh Barnett, Dan Severn, and Tim Sylvia, light heavyweights Vitor Belfort and
Frank Shamrock, middleweights Dave Menne and Rich Franklin, and welterweights Matt Hughes, Robbie Lawler, and Pat Miletich among countless others. Now the founder Thompson has sold the entire fight library of 50+ events and 500 fights to UFC Fight Pass, assuring the era will live forever.
“Well, it wasn’t an easy decision,” said Thompson to KHON-2 Sports Director Rob DeMello. “I did feel like maybe I was giving up a part of myself and you know, the more I gave it that thought, it wasn’t going to do anybody any good sitting in a storage locker somewhere. I really feel like it’s nice to make sure that it’s shared and make sure that the history that we have here in Hawaii, that again, I think Icon-Sport, I was a small part of what Icon Sport was, with all the great fighters, the fans, everyone that was apart of that era in mixed martial arts, they deserve to have that product out for the world to see.”
“That’s the beauty of it. People can talk about where the sport has gone and I have my own opinions on what the UFC is about, but there is no doubt that they know how to get the message out to the masses, and by having it on Fight Pass, by having the UFC promote Icon, it’s guaranteed that it will live forever now, and again that’s a testament to everyone that was involved.”