Ahead of his main event slot with Yair Rodriguez at UFC Vegas 42, Max Holloway was named the recipient of the 2021 Forrest Griffin Community Award. However, the number one ranked featherweight contender claims: ‘This is bigger than me.’
The Forest Griffin Community Award is an award named in honour of UFC Hall of Famer Forrest Griffin. The award aims to recognize a UFC athletes for their exceptional volunteer and charity work and the meaningful impact their efforts have on the community.
Dustin Poirier was the first recipient of the award in 2020 after his work with his own Charity The Good Fight Foundation, which aims to ‘fight for the underserved communities and answer the call of those in need.’
“I saw Dustin won it two months ago and they told me I won it for this year so it’s pretty sick, man.” Holloway said. “I told them not to – they should have not surprised me fight week! (Smiling) It’s kind of messed up, I’ve got so many emotions already and then they drop this bomb on me.”
Holloway may be a former UFC Featherweight champion with 3 title defences and the ‘Daddest Man on the planet’ but knows that this prestigious award means a lot more than that:
“Like I told them, it’s not a trophy to hold above my head. I’m not celebrating. You don’t celebrate this. It’s a responsibility to go on my shoulders and to let me know. It’s a reminder to be like, ‘You’d better keep pushing.’ I’m more than an athlete. This is bigger than me. There are people who need help and we’re here for it.
Holloway has been recognised by Forrest Griffin and the UFC for his many visits to children’s and military hospitals, his work with the Cure 4 The Kids Foundation, and his efforts in raising money for his homeland of Hawaii in response to the Covid – 19 pandemic. On top of his sensational efforts to help his community, Holloway claims that he’s already working on more.
The winner of the Forrest Griffin Community Award will receive a $25,000 donation in their name to a charity of their choosing, and Holloway knows precisely where that donation is going:
“I was talking to my agent before this and we just got something new, we’re working with the Boys & Girls Club, specifically where I was born and raised in Waianae, Hawaii. I’m gonna give them the whole thing. There’s this program called What’s Next and it helps people to find out what they want to do next. If it’s college or military, whatever it may be, internships, whatever it is, that’s what it goes to so that’s where (the donation) is going.”
“We always did work with Hawaii Food Bank, with unemployment. We started doing stuff with Hawaii Food Bank and we’ve got something sick coming up with them. We’re just trying to do out bit. A wise person once said to me, ‘You want to leave this world better than you came into it.’ At the end of the day, this is huge. This helps us out a lot. I know a bunch of kids in the Waianae Boys & Girls Club when they hear about that, they’re gonna be pretty stoked, so I’m excited.”
Before returning to his charitable work, Holloway returns to the Las Vegas octagon on Saturday as he collides with Yair Rodriguez in the main event, which promises fireworks.
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