Bellator 295: Kai Kamaka III Knows Adli Edwards Has Skills, but “I’m Focusing on Myself”

Las Vegas — Xtreme Couture’s Kai Kamaka III is the only fighter to compete on all four Bellator stints in his native Hawaii, outside of promotional darling Ilima-Lei Macfarlane.

He’s back there again this Saturday, fighting in Honolulu against Adli Edwards, a fighter he’s done his homework on.

“I heard he was tearing up the regional scene. Watched some tape on him, watched the Pico fight,” Kamaka (10-5-1) told Cageside Press in a recent exclusive interview. “He has skills everywhere. But I don’t really put too much thought in him. I prepare with the best guys every day, so I’m focusing on myself, rather.”

Kamaka is coming into the fight off a key win in Connecticut against Kevin Boehm, with the TKO finish improving his record to 4-1 in the promotion.

“I was happy about that performance. Just, you get to practice everything you do in fight week. I feel like I was better than Kevin— I feel like I’m better than all these guys that I fight, but I just get to practice a lot of things fight week that you don’t get to practice until fight week,” noted Kamaka. “Just the emotion, the weight cut, the diet, backstage— the warm-up, the things you eat — those kind of things you don’t get to practice until it’s fight time. And I got to practice things in-fight which you don’t get to practice other than sparring, which is not even a fight. It’s the closest thing to it, but you don’t get to practice those things until the fight.”

During this week’s Bellator 295 media day, Kamaka also spoke to Cageside Press about the importance of Bellator making Hawaii a regular stop on its touring schedule.

“I think it’s got to say something. I don’t know what Bellator’s doing different or what, but they’re getting it done. And I’m grateful for it,” espoused Kamaka.

“Growing up as a kid in Hawaii, I’ve seen like the biggest promotions come here, besides like the UFC, right? But I’ve seen the biggest promotions come here. K-1, Elite XC. I’ve been able to sit in those stands, be in those locker rooms, to now fighting in the biggest promotion that comes to my home state, in the arena that I grew up in. I grew up sitting in those stands, I grew up in those locker rooms watching my teammates, my uncles fighting in that arena, to winning a state championship in that arena. That arena means a lot to me, to the state of Hawaii, to a lot of these fighters, but I feel like me on this card, I feel like the arena means the most to me personally.”

After watching his uncles, including Ray Cooper II (PFL champ Ray Cooper III is Kamaka’s cousin), compete on the big stage at home, he now feels like “now I’m one of those guys to carry the torch and be in the big shows as a Hawaii guy. As they were, representing us against the guys from the mainland, coming down, fighting the Hawaiians. Now I feel like one of those guys. I’m not here fighting locals, I’m fighting ranked guys, professional fighters, full time fighters. For it to come to Hawaii and give me this opportunity, for the fourth time— I feel like besides Ilima I’m the only guy to fight in Hawaii on the Bellator Saturday card four times.”