9-year-old MMA on the brink of history - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

9-year-old MMA on the brink of history

Nainoa Dung Nainoa Dung
Bryan Sanders Bryan Sanders
Rosalynn Cummings Rosalynn Cummings

by Jason Tang

HONOLULU (KHNL)- BJ Penn, Egan Inouye, and KJ Noons. All local mixed martial artists who have found success in their sport. But there's another local boy you need to watch out for, and at only nine years old, he really is just a boy, but he's well beyond his age.

His favorite mixed martial artist is BJ Penn.

"Because he's from Hawaii and i'm from Hawaii and we're both one of the best fighters in the world," said 9-year-old Nainoa Dung.

However for Nainoa, he compares his goals to King Kamehameha.

"I was reading this book about how he conquered all the Islands, and I wanted to do as he did," said Nainoa.

If Nainoa wins his MMA fight on Maui this month he'll achieve his goal, as he will hold every championship belt in his weight division from each of the Islands.

"I think it would be a great accomplishment for Nainoa and his family and it would directly be the result of all the hard work him and his family are putting in," said Bryan Sanders, Nainoa's wrestling coach.

Every day Nainoa trains hard to achieve his goal, which is one reason why he's been so successful. In his young career Nainoa's undefeated in almost fifty competitions.

"He's very persistent, he enjoys the love of the sport and he'll get there because he trains very hard, I believe in him," said his mother, Rosalynn Cummings.

And his mom isn't the only one who believes. Penn nicknamed Nainoa "The Future," and though his immediate goal is to be like King Kamehameha, his long terms goal is to be like BJ.

"One day I want to be the UFC champion."

And until that day comes to pass, Nainoa will never stop working. His upcoming quest to unify the belts takes place on Saturday June 21st on Maui. His parents say they're not sure who his competitor will be.

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