Since turning pro last August, things have gone just about as well as lightweight prospect Nainoa Dung could have planned.
In two bouts, Dung has picked up two finishes, and in the process secured a contract with one of MMA’s biggest promotions.
“My 2018 went just as planned,” Dung told MMAWeekly.com. “I made my pro debut (in August and won). I made my Bellator debut (in December and won). From there we got the contract and now this is the real start.
“Now that I’m signed with Bellator I’m looking forward to putting on a show, and prove them right for signing me. I feel like they got the Number One prospect.”
When it comes to his performances in his first two fights, Dung feels he’s been able to adapt to what his opponents have done and come out with the victory.
“It was evident these guys didn’t want to stand with me,” said Dung. “The first fight he shot in early and I got a submission win. The second fight he tried his best to keep the fight on the ground, but I kept creating scrambles and getting back to my feet, and eventually found the finish on the ground.
“I’ve been working really hard on my takedown defense and putting everything together. I’m young. I just turned 20 this year. I’m still growing into myself physically and mentally, it’s pretty scary.”
On July 12 in Thackerville, Oklahoma, Dung (2-0) will face fellow undefeated fighter Brad Robison (3-0) in a 155-pound bout at Bellator 224.
“He’s got a lot of fights (as an amateur and a pro) under his belt and he knows how to win,” Dung said of Robison. “I still don’t think he’s on my level. The only way to prove that is to go out there and show it.
“I’m looking to keep it standing and try to get a knockout; if not knocking him out, just literally beating him for all three rounds; I’ll take whatever I can get.”
Aside from wanting to showcase his skills in front of his hometown crowd in the future, the only thing on Dung’s mind is remaining undefeated following his bout versus Robison.
“Looking forward into the future, I hope Bellator comes back to Hawaii,” said Dun. “I’d love to fight in front of my friends, my family and my fans, and represent Hawaii.
“Besides that I’m not looking beyond July 12. I’ll get past my opponent first and then we’ll go on from there.”