LAS VEGAS – The nation's premier amateur mixed martial arts promotion is heading to the Aloha State.
Tuff-N-Uff co-founder Jeff Meyer today announced that Sifu Joseph Solis, a martial arts Masters Hall of Fame inductee, will head up the newly-formed Tuff-N-Uff Hawaii, which will host its first event in September.
"Martial arts fans know that Hawaii has long been a hotbed for the sport of MMA, both in terms of producing great fighters, as well as rabid fans," Meyer said. "We're very proud of the reputation we've established at Tuff-N-Uff, and we're incredibly excited to announce that Sifu Joseph Solis will help to bring our brand to the Hawaiian Islands."
Additional details will be announced shortly, but the promotion is targeting Oahu's Neal S. Blaisdell Center and FilCom Center as two potential host sites.
Solis is the owner and head trainer of Hawaiian Fighting Arts Gym, a collection of four gyms located in Oahu, Las Vegas, American Samoa and Murrieta, Calif. Solis' gyms produce kickboxers and mixed martial artists in both the amateur and professional ranks, including a number of athletes who have previously competed under the Tuff-N-Uff banner.
Solis is a lifelong martial arts practitioner who has earned the rank of 7th degree black belt, and he previously served as matchmaker for Alabama's Combat Sports Elite and Kansas City's Warfare Extreme organizations.
"Tuff-N-Uff has worked to establish itself as the nation's top amateur MMA organization, and we're committed to upholding those same standards at Tuff-N-Uff Hawaii," Solis said. "We have a vibrant and passionate MMA scene in Hawaii, and we're excited to build a platform where top up-and-coming fighters can develop their skills and prove their talent. Just as Tuff-N-Uff has done for ore than a decade in Las Vegas, we're going to find the future stars of mixed martial arts in Hawaii."
Tuff-N-Uff has promoted amateur fights in Las Vegas since 2003 and has recently seen the likes of UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and UFC and Strikeforce veteran Ryan Couture compete in its cage. Additionally, MMA notables such as Jessamyn Duke, Ashlee Evans-Smith, Tonya Evinger, Jon Fitch, Jesse Forbes, Chris Holdsworth, Brad Imes, Jimmy Jones, Jesse Taylor and Nick Thompson were among countless others who have also competed under the Tuff-N-Uff banner.