After Bellator MMA Debut Win, Nainoa Dung Believes 2019 Will Be His Breakout Year

December 20, 2018

After just one bout as a pro MMA fighter, lightweight prospect Nainoa Dung was called upon to fight in a main card bout on the December 15 Bellator show in his native Hawaii, and he did not disappoint.

Dung was able to put aside the fight build-up and was able to pick up a third round TKO win over fellow Hawaiian up and comer Kona Oliveira.

“The week of the fight that was crazy,” Dung told MMAWeekly.com. “The press conference, the weigh-ins, it’s very exciting and an awesome experience. It brought some hype into my fight. We were on the main card, and I felt like our fight was one of the most anticipated fights, and we delivered.

“Shout-out to my opponent; (Oliveira) came with his game plan; and his strengths are supposedly my weaknesses, but I’m happy I got to go out there and show that I’m more than just a kickboxer. I held my composure. I got the finish on the ground with a third round TKO stoppage. It was an awesome week.”

Though he’s new to the pro MMA game, Dung has had extensive combat sports experience, and thus was able to set aside any big stage jitters and have the kind of performance he wanted to.

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“I’ve been doing this a long time, and I’ve always treated every single fight the same,” said Dung. “For the fight I wasn’t nervous or anything like that. I was 100 percent confident.

“Being on that big stage, that crowd, the film crew and whole set-up was a different experience to what I’ve been through, but I’m happy I got to go through all of that. Besides that, once we stepped into the cage I was at home.”

With a Bellator main card bout under his belt, Dung is looking to keep his good fortune going into 2019.

“I’m still early on in my career, and every single fight from now on counts,” Dung said. “Right now I’m looking to keep that undefeated record going in. In the fight game anything can happen, but I feel like I’m ready for whatever comes my way.

“Everything is happening so fast, but I feel everything is happening at the right pace and at the right time, and I’m ready. 2019 is going to be a breakout year for me.”