Bellator 289: Kai Kamaka Striving to Be In Better Control of Himself in Fights

Hawaiian Kai Kamaka III returned to the win column at Bellator 289 on Friday, finishing Kevin Boehm by TKO in the third.

Kamaka (10-5-1) previously competed for the UFC, and is now 2-1 since returning to Bellator last year.

Of late, Kamaka has been working on shoring up his wrestling game, working with a couple familiar names in training.

“In Vegas, Jeremy Kennedy and Mads Burnell, they kind of helped me the most, making those grappling gains,” Kamaka said following the fight. “Because I’m kind of a folkstyle wrestler, and those two guys, they’re not folkstyle wrestlers, they’re more greco and jiu-jitsu guys. So they’ve helped me gain a lot on the jiu-jitsu and the grappling side.”

The key for Kamaka moving into 2023, he said, is to “just stay active and keep getting better. I feel like my skills, I’m also improving, I don’t take any breaks. So just staying active, taking the baby steps, the steps that I haven’t taken over the past two years, just from always wanting the next big one, next big one, next big one.”

In terms of where he can improve, it’s less about skills, and more about just working on himself as a whole, he later explained. “I’ve still got to work on myself. I feel like that’s the only thing I’m fighting when I’m in there, is myself. It doesn’t matter the opponent, I have so many tools that it doesn’t matter the opponent, I’ve just got to be in control of myself.”

Watch the full Bellator 289 post-fight press conference with Kai Kamaka III above.