While the stoppage might have come a little early, Nainoa Dung secured a third-round TKO to open the main card of Bellator 213 on Saturday in Hawaii.
The second of back-to-back Bellator cards in Honolulu, Hawaii went down Saturday night, as Bellator 213 brought a women’s flyweight title fight to the Neal S. Blaisdell Center. It was a momentous occasion for the Hawaiian state, who had long desired a major MMA promotion to return to the area. Bellator, beating the UFC to the goal line, did just that with not one but two impressive cards. And in a bit of fun match-making on Saturday, it gave two Hawaiian newcomers a chance to share the spotlight, kicking off the televised card with lightweight action between Kona Oliveira and Nainoa Dung.
Both fighters entered the night with 1-0 records.
The all-Hawaii battle commenced with Oliveira closing the gap with his opponent, driving him against the fence briefly but almost immediately taking the fight to the ground. Dung was on his back, utilizing a closed guard. Oliveira looked to score some ground n’ pound, while Dung pushed off, trying to make room for leg kicks. He then switched to a leg lock attempt, but was unable to secure it. Oliveira slipped in an elbow or two, and continued to control from top, looking for a way to pass into mount. The round would end with Oliveira on top, and they’d head to the second.
Round two opened with a level change as Oliveira took the fight to the ground early. That began a long round for Dung, who was eating more ground n’ pound, and was stuck out in the open, unable to escape until the two minute mark. He’d explode up off a sweep then, taking the fight to Olveira. Dung would then force a takedown in a grappling exchange, but moved back, allowing the fight back up.
Round three opened with a firefight. The pair would settle down, however, then fall back on the grappling. Out of an anaconda position, Dung would move to mount, and begin landing bombs! Oliveira would turn to the side, and the ref immediately waved it off, giving 19-year old Dung his second pro win!
Afterward, there was some question about it being a quick stoppage, but Dung disagreed. “No way man. He’s in denial. I know and he knows that he quit, and the referee saw it and had to stop it.”
Nainoa Dung def. Kona Oliveira by TKO, Round 3, 2:05