The Maui disaster: What UFC veterans are doing to help, and how you can too

The Maui disaster: What UFC veterans are doing to help, and how you can too

By: Ivan DeHaas | 1 month ago

Since August 8th, the wildfires in Hawaii have scorched 5.7 square miles of the island of Maui, taking a devastating toll on the island’s infrastructure, community, and culture. According to The Associated Press, over 110 Hawaii residents are reported dead, over a thousand more people are missing, and the historic town of Lahaina has been all but razed by the inferno.

August 12, 2023. The flaming Maui disaster in Lahaina, Hawaii, USA. Maui USA - ZUMA Copyright: County Of Maui
August 12, 2023, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, USA: Decimated streets of Lahaina, on Hawaiian Island of Maui. The aftermath of the deadliest American wildfire of the past century. Maui USA – ZUMA | Copyright: County Of Maui

UFC & MMA solidarity in the wake of the Maui disaster

In the days since the start of the wildfires, many people from all over the United States and the globe have come together to provide support for Hawaii and the residents of Lahaina in any way they can. Recently, multiple UFC veterans and other MMA affiliates have joined this initiative, many taking to social media to provide links to fundraisers and resources for the Maui disaster. Last week, UFC President Dana White announced that the UFC itself intends to donate $1 million to Hawaii relief efforts.

This isn’t merely a pledge of support that came from a large MMA promotional company out of the blue. Combat sports has found a unique niche among the residents of Hawaii in the past few decades, and mixed martial arts as a whole has found a dedicated fanbase in the islands’ surfing communities. For that reason, many significant names in combat sports have individually voiced their concerns for the Maui disaster in the past few days, taking it upon themselves to combat the devastation of the four Hawaii wildfires in any way possible.

Important MMA figures shed light on the Maui disaster

A few days ago, in an interview with MMA Junkie, UFC legend and BKFC signee Kendall Grove provided his input on the Maui disaster in a heartfelt, sentimental manner. Grove is a Maui native who has been a professional combat sports competitor since 2003, and in the interview, he expressed how he was personally and deeply affected by the Hawaii fires. Recently, Grove has used his social media platforms to provide a myriad of fundraiser links to local Maui rehabilitation efforts, and it looks like other MMA affiliates may follow suit.

UFC featherweight Max Holloway is another Hawaii-born fighter who’s spoken on the tragic extent of the Maui wildfires, and recently, he’s shown unconditional love and support for his home state during multiple MMA interviews. On Aug. 16th, TSN Sports correspondent Aaron Bronsteter interviewed Holloway, taking the opportunity to encourage Twitter’s combat sports community to donate to the Hawaii Community Foundation, a non-profit based out of Honolulu that has been an important source of support for the communities that were severely impacted by the Maui disaster.

The following day, Holloway appeared on ESPN’s Off the Bench podcast to discuss his upcoming Aug. 26th bout with the Korean Zombie, but also to profess his admiration for the resilient people of Lahaina and the greater island of Maui. Holloway’s blessings were as follows:

“I just want to send my love, and aloha, and my mana out to all that’s directly affected by what’s going on [in] the past couple days. People [are] losing their houses and land, people are losing family members… it’s a tough thing, you know, it’s a crazy thing.

“But I also wanna give a huge shoutout to our people. The people came through for their own! Doing donations, doing runs, people sacrificed their time, left work, stopped their daily routine to help these guys, and [they are] true heroes.”

How you can help the victims of the Maui disaster

If MMA fighters and everyday people alike can pledge their support for those affected by the Hawaii wildfires, so can we.

Here are some other links that will benefit the people of Lahaina:

HCF Maui Strong Fund

Mata’afa Family GoFundMe

Help Maui Rise GoFundMe List

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and community affected by the Lahaina and Maui wildfires.

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Ivan DeHaas
Ivan DeHaas

CWRU F24 | All weighs, I'll write

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