HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Getting to the UFC was never the goal for Waianae native Boston Salmon.
Becoming a star and someone the UFC can promote down the line, just like his childhood friend and featherweight champion Max Holloway, is what Salmon has in mind.
“I feel like it’s easy to get in the UFC, but it’s hard to stay in the UFC,” Salmon said. “If you’re not doing your job, if you’re not entertaining, if you’re not marketable, kick rocks.”
The 28-year-old is set to make his Octagon debut this Saturday on the prelims at UFC 236 in Atlanta, the first fight on the ESPN-televised fight card. Salmon is set to take on Khalid Taha at bantamweight, and he’s excited to put himself on the radar of both fans and the fight promotion moving forward.
“I’m a marketable fighter, I’m a good-looking guy,” Salmon said. “My fights are super exciting, I have a good following out in Hawaii and I feel like I’m going to do really good for the company.”
While Salmon is making his Octagon debut this weekend, he won’t be alone in doing so. Despite training out of Las Vegas, Salmon’s roots to the west side of Oahu remain deep, as does his relationship with Holloway, who is fighting in the main event of UFC 236 for the interim lightweight title.
Salmon and Holloway grew up together in Waianae, so it’s only fitting that they share a fight card together approximately two decades later.
“Me and Max go way back,” Salmon said. “I got pictures of when we were on the Waianae Wolf Pack. We were in Little League … we grew up as kids, I used to sleep over at his grandma's house, my dad used to pick us up on scouting trips to watch other baseball teams play so that we could prepare for them. My family is super close with his family. I know his mom, I know all his brothers, his aunties, his cousins, we’re cool. We go way back, man.”
In an interview with the UFC during fight week, Holloway was asked about Salmon. Not only was he pleased for his childhood friend to make it to world’s ultimate proving ground, he even made a point to say that Salmon should have been on the PPV card - not the prelims.
“I was lowkey mad that the UFC put him on the ESPN card,” Holloway said. “UFC, you guys should’ve opened the PPV card up with a Waianae boy from Hawaii and you should’ve closed it with a Waianae boy from Hawaii.”
Salmon is set to to fight at 2 p.m. HT live on ESPN while Holloway will close out the night in the UFC 236 against Dustin Poirier for the interim 155-pound title which will be live in PPV at 4 p.m. HT.