HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Slap fighting has quickly become a popular sport in the United States with the likes of UFC President Dana White advocating for it, but the future of the game has figuratively and literally been put into the hands of “Da Crazy Hawaiian”.
Koa Viernes or better known as “Da Crazy Hawaiian” took the internet by storm after a 21-round slap fest between him and the “Hillbilly Hippie” was posted online — reaching nearly 1.4 million views on Youtube — catapulting the Waianae native into a force to be reckoned with in the world of slap fighting, choosing his stage name to showcase the “crazy”side of the 808.
“I thought about that and that just stuck with me, Da Crazy Hawaiian.” Viernes told Hawaii News Now Sports reporter Kyle Chinen. “What do you want to be called? And I said us Hawaiians are humble, we’re respectful, we show Aloha, but we also have a crazy side.”
The sport of slap fighting is exactly what it sounds like, two opponents meet at center stage, taking turns delivering earthshaking open-palm slaps to their opponent’s face until the last person is standing. The idea of being slapped in the face is already daunting as it is, but the sport is not short on trash talking, however Viernes takes a different approach to the game — showing some of the Aloha spirit.
“Yes, I turn on Da Crazy Hawaiian, but I also show them Aloha at the end.” Viernes said. " I also show them that even though you guys have choice words for me, I have a choice slap and then we can exchange real words, like thank you for coming out and being a blessing in my life.”
When not in his “Crazy Hawaiian” persona, Viernes is looking at the bigger picture, looking to be a trailblazer in the sport, taking it to the level of other combat sports like the UFC — Viernes is set to sign with Glenn Pere of Pere 360 to become the first professional slap fighter in the United States.
“I want to take this sport and treat it as an actual sport and make it organized, go through the process the right way because somebody has to do it.” Viernes said. “I want to be the pioneer, I want to be the guy that changed the sport and not keep it a spectacle.”
Growing up on the westside of Oahu, Viernes never thought in his wildest dreams that he would be the face of a rising sport, but the 29-year-old says that growing up in Hawaii prepared him to catch all the “cracks” in the SlapFight Championship.
“My dad was the original slapper, thanks for slapping me around when I was a kid because it paid off and I hope you’re proud of all the slaps that I took.” Viernes said. “I love everybody and I got nothing but love and Aloha for everybody and I hope you guys jump on Da Crazy Hawaiian bandwagon because it is a big bandwagon baby.”
For more information on Da Crazy Hawaiian’s next fight, head to Viernes’ social media accounts @da_crazy_hawaiian.