Ikuhisa Minowa has one of the most recognizable outfits in MMA. | Photo: Daniel Herbertson
No matter who you are, wearing a pair of form-fitting, red wrestling trunks in public is guaranteed to draw some stares. But if you’re a fight fan in Honolulu on Jan. 21, it could also save you a couple bucks.
T. Jay Thompson, longtime Hawaiian MMA promoter and current head of fight operations for ProElite, made the offer Tuesday via his personal Twitter account: Come to ProElite’s Jan. 21 event dressed in headliner Ikuhisa Minowa’s trademark fight garb and get in free of charge.
“Red Speedos a must!” Thompson wrote.
A 15-year MMA veteran who has competed in the UFC, Pride Fighting Championships and Dream, catch-wrestling stylist Minowa has become a cult favorite over the years for his signature duds and a propensity for facing much larger opponents.
Any Minowa backer brave enough to don the skimpy attire will be rewarded not only with free admission to see their hero fight UFC veteran Kendall Grove that night at the Neil S. Blaisdell Center, but gratis tickets to Thompson’s events for life. According to Thompson, the idea for the light-hearted promotion stemmed from an October 2005 Icon Sport contest which challenged fans to come costumed as then-local favorite Jason “Mayhem” Miller.
“I did something similar with Mayhem years ago in Hawaii,” Thompson told Sherdog.com on Tuesday. “You know, dye your hair, dress up as Mayhem, and I was gonna give away three sets of free tickets for a year to all my shows. I figured if I’m gonna get someone to put on a set of tights, they need more than a year.”
So, is Thompson worried that a swarm of red Speedos will descend on Honolulu in less than two weeks’ time? Not at all; in fact, he says, the more Minowas, the merrier.
“I hope we give away hundreds of tickets. It would make my day. But I’ll be happy with at least one,” joked Thompson.
In addition to the Minowa-Grove main event, ProElite’s third card is set to feature unbeaten Olympic wrestling medalist Sara McMann taking on Japanese veteran Hitomi Akano, plus the semifinals of the company’s eight-man heavyweight tournament. The six-bout main card airs live on HDNet.