Jay Bolos is the owner of one of the largest Mixed Martial Arts promotions in the State of Hawaii and it continues to grow. Bolos held his first “DESTINY” MMA event in October of 2008 on the island of Oahu. Since then, one thing that sets his promotion apart is his commitment to women’s MMA.
“In Hawaii it’s very challenging to find women mma match ups,” said Bolos. “The interest is there, but the gap between levels of fighters and weights are far between. The top female competitors in Hawaii have too much prior kickboxing, wrestling or bjj experience for up and comers at these lighter weight classes and all the top fighters cross train with each other. With that tight knit community, it’s very difficult and rare to find a local vs local female match. On the mainland though, women’s MMA has really taken off. There are many fighters to choose from at all levels, so I started networking and entertaining the idea of bringing down females to compete from out of state, which was rarely done here for women’s MMA outside of the occasional maybe once a year Blaisedell (large professional) event.”
“I actually wanted to invest into women’s MMA from the very beginning,” said Bolos. “But it was just too hard to find match ups consistently and I didn’t have the network of friends that I do now to put me in touch with the right people who could help me. But the reception from fans whenever I was able to get the women matches added on, was louder and more exciting than most of the guys fighting that night. TJ Rodrigues vs Lii Furuta had the fans jumping in my first ever women’s match in my shows. TJ followed that momentum into her next match with a TKO victory over Jennifer Jackson that had the fans really going crazy. When we added Raquel Paaluhi to our DESTINY: Fireworks card and Kailin Curran to our DESTINY:No Ka Oi II event (which was the 1st ever women’s MMA match on Maui), the venues were rocking. I was 100% sure that I had to find a way to keep these fighters busy and give the fans something different that only our event would be doing.”
“Female fights generally, not just here in Hawaii, but also when shown on network TV are known to steal the spotlight. Rarely do they disappoint and I believe that it’s because the female fighters feel they have something to prove to belong on fight cards with guys. I feel a different type of energy and excitement from the fans when females compete. Especially when I do these Hawaii vs Mainland showdowns. It really gets the hype flowing.”
Bolos does acknowledge that one of the difficulties that can arise is the lack of last minute replacements available if a female fighter should get injured or not make weight. Despite that risk, Bolos plans to host at least one to two female fights on each of his fight cards, with the hope that he may eventually be able to raise that number to three to five per card.
“I would like to thank all the fighters, fans, sponsors, true friends & my family for helping make DESTINY what it is today,” said Bolos. “It’s a tough business, but with all of your help we have succeeded to keep on going and are on our way to putting on much bigger events in the near future. Couldn’t have done it with all of you. Also, would like to thank the following female fighters who have helped me build the foundation for women’s mma in DESTINY: TJ Rodrigues, Raquel Paaluhi, Kailin Curran, Rachael Ostovich, Bryanna Fissori, JJ Aldrich, Lavida Givan, Lauren Barefoot, Lii Furuta, Jennifer Jackson and Kaano Kulukulualani.”