WAIANAE, Hawaii – With every swing, Max Holloway and Yancy Medeiros stepped into the ring, ready for victory.
With two wins under their belts, their welcome home in Waianae stirred up quite a crowd.
As soon as Holloway and Medeiros’s bus pulled up outside of Waianae Mall, it was like the Beatles arrived at the Blaisdell.
Everyone wanted to get a glimpse of these two native sons returning home.
“Oh I tell you, my heart was just pounding,” Papa Fred with the Waianae Boxing Club said.
“You know everybody get one stereotype about Waianae, so it kinda lifted everybody up. It feels good,” Henry Silva with the Waianae Boxing Club said.
Both Medeiros and Holloway were graduates of Waianae High School.
Many have said they helped put Oahu’s west side on the map as a force to be reckoned with in the UFC.
“It just giving them hope if I can do it, why not you and we don’t need another Max Holloway guys, we need another you, just focus on you guys selves, you guys will be great. We already got one Max Holloway, go beat my records, I dare you guys,” Holloway said.
“Speechless, speechless, overwhelmed, thank you guys,” Medeiros said.
Keiki in Waianae were inspired by Saturday’s wins, one football team won a championship title this weekend just before Holloway got his belt.
That hui performed a traditional Hawaiian haa at Monday afternoon’s homecoming.
“All of the people gave him stuff but they didn’t really show them how they feel about him. That’s our way of showing them how we feel about them,” Kauila Magalles-Kaleikoa, who performed Haa for homecoming said.
Retired Ozeki Konishiki shed these words of wisdom for Waianae’s UFC stars.
“I think right now, they’re at the top. Everybody is going to come and try and take them down but remember where they came from, stay true to the work and love what they do and that’ll take them to the next level,” Konishiki said.
Fans waited for hours for a chance to meet the prized fighters, some even overcame with emotion.
Both homegrown boys said they’re glad to be home.
Medeiros says he’s been looking forward to a certain treat in particular.
“Mochi crunch brah, mochi cruch, hahaha,” he said.
Love for Hawaii, love for the people.