Toni “Dynamite” Tauru is looking to get his second consecutive win against a Team Lakay fighter.
The Finnish submission specialist will return to the cage on Friday Night, 21 April, to clash with wushu expert Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon at ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY, live from the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
While Tauru admires the Baguio City fighter’s striking prowess and his highly-esteemed fight team, he believes it is only a matter of time before he taps him out.
“I do not mind facing hard hitters,” the 32-year-old Finn says. “I have great respect for Team Lakay. They have been doing great work and have a number of great warriors. The fight goes how it goes, but in the end I will find that submission.”
Tauru is a former CWFC Bantamweight Champion and ONE Bantamweight World Title challenger who holds an 11-4-1 record. He is known for his impressive ground game and a collection of submission finishes, as eight of his 11 professional victories have come by way of tap out.
“Dynamite” recently snapped a three-fight skid by defeating Belingon’s teammate Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio via rear-naked choke at ONE: AGE OF DOMINATION last December in Manila. Now, Tauru is scheduled to face a second straight Team Lakay team member in Belingon.
In anticipation of his upcoming bout with “The Silencer,” Tauru has been splitting his time training at Gracie Barra Kouvola and Team East Front in his native Kouvola, Finland. But as any evolving martial artist does, he constantly seeks out the best training opportunities within his home country and outside his comfort zone when necessary.
“My home gym is GB Kouvola, where MMA Utti works,” Tauru explains. “Overall, we have great opportunities to train jiu-jitsu, wrestling and MMA in Kouvola. I also find time to travel for training. I have always felt like it is part of my routine to go to new gyms and find new training partners around Finland, and sometimes other countries.”
Tauru will need to train with Northern Europe’s best if he wants to outclass his Filipino nemesis.
Belingon is a wushu champion who owns a 14-5 professional record, with five wins coming by way of knockout and another three by submission. After falling to ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano Fernandes at ONE: DYNASTY OF CHAMPIONS in January 2016, “The Silencer” returned to the cage nearly ten months later and earned a unanimous decision victory over Muin Gafurov at ONE: STATE OF WARRIORS.
Not only does the 29-year-old Filipino want to start a winning streak, but he previously stated his intentions of exacting some level of payback against Tauru later this month for his friend and teammate Eustaquio.
That does not rattle the Finnish fighter. As a matter of fact, he plans to handle Belingon the exact same way he took out Eustaquio late last year.
“If he wants to make it grappling contest, well thank you, but I do not see that coming,” Tauru says. “Kevin is good on his feet and that is where he wants to stay. Of course it would be sweet for him to get revenge, but that is also something that’s not going to happen.”
Regardless of how this highly-anticipated battle plays out, Tauru knows he and his opponent will give spectators their money’s worth on 21 April. Whether fans are going to cheer for the “Dynamite” martial artist or against him, he welcomes the noise.
“I know that my fans will be watching,” Tauru says. “Kevin (Belingon) and I are going to give you a fight to see. With our ability to end fights, you will want to see this one. I know that I am stepping once again in enemy territory, and I dare all in Manila to come and make some noise at the event.”