Kai Kamaka III made his return to Bellator MMA on Friday, after a stint with the UFC that simply didn’t go his way.
Things turned out better for the Hawaiian at Bellator 272, however. The 26-year old picked up a unanimous decision win over John de Jesus, getting back in the win column after going 0-2-1 over his last three fights.
“It feels great. Great to not just to be back fighting and being busy again, but a win. A win, finally,” a clearly relieved Kamaka told media outlets including Cageside Press post-fight.
“Mentally I was just more confused,” he said of his recent slump. “I knew that I’m still young, I have a lot of skill, and I come to scrap. So I knew I was going to be fighting, I was just battling with myself mentally. But there was no hiccup in my skill or anything like that. I’m just glad to be back, glad to be back in the win column.”
Asked whether the skid had lit a fire under him, Kamaka replied by saying that “There was always a fire under me, I was more just confused on what the hell I was doing wrong.” Kamaka had made a move to Las Vegas, and was no longer training with his old coach. After moving, he didn’t win a fight. “Training style was a little different, so I was questioning myself a lot, because I thought I was winning these fights, but I also made a lot of changes in my camp. I kind of just got back to myself.” That included trying to mimic what he’d had back home as much as he could — and it all came together on Friday.
Watch the full Bellator 272 post-fight press conference above. More coverage from the event can be found below.