The wait is almost over for Nainoa Dung, who will next fight on Aug. 7 against Charlie Campbell in a lightweight bout at Bellator 243.
“Super excited,” the fighter from Makaha told KHON2 sports director Rob DeMello. “After my last fight in May got canceled and all this happened, I just couldn’t wait to fight again.”
When asked what he knows about Campbell (1-1), Dung says he’s expecting an entertaining fight.
“Good camp, good team, tough fighter. I think he was undefeated in his amateur career and he had a couple pro fights” Dung said. “I just look forward to going out there and doing what I do best. Just putting on a show and just trying to get that finish and that win for all of us here in Hawaii and representing Hawaii.”
At just 21 years old, Dung is considered by many to be a rising star in the MMA ranks. However, his first professional setback came at Bellator 236 at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center last December when he lost to Maui’s Zach Zane via unanimous decision.
Dung has not fought since then and currently holds a pro MMA record of 3-1. He says he’s ready to put the loss behind him and hopes to keep building on his MMA career when he takes the cage against Campbell at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
“It was…not going too deep into it, it’s the fight game,” Dung said of his loss to Zane. “You win and you lose. We took my first loss and from then on we just kept moving forward. Looking forward to the future and I’m in a good place physically and mentally right now and I feel like this is gonna be one of my best performances.”
Despite some of the restrictions placed upon him during the coronavirus pandemic, Dung was still able to improve upon his craft, thanks to a newly built home gym that took him back to his roots.
“In a way, I know this thing was super bad but for me, I found a lot of good out of it. I ended up actually making my own gym here at home, which I feel like is the best investment I made,” Dung said. “Investing in yourself is always good but I’ve been getting my work right here at home. I had some bags and mats sent in and got it up, so I had my camp here.
“That’s exactly how it felt, just like old times. Growing up in Hawaii, we don’t get opportunities like most people do like out of state how everything is here. But work is work. I have good partners, my father, and yeah, we just got the work in. We did what had to be done and we’re excited for Aug. 7.”