Toni “Dynamite” Tauru plans to continue his ascent up the bantamweight ladder when he faces Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon at ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY on Friday Night, 21 April. When he steps inside the cage, he will be doing so with a renewed energy and strength, the kind he can only get from his family.
Tauru grew up in the small village of Utti in Kouvola, Finland. The village is best known as the home of the first Finnish Air Force base. Now it serves as a training ground for the country’s Special Forces and military police.
For the “Dynamite” bantamweight, he remembers the village as a haven for active young people. His early years in Utti were filled with “cold winters and not-so-bad summers,” as he puts it, but also heavy on sports.
“Finnish kids love winter sports, and I was no exception. I have done ice hockey, snowboarding, and skiing,” the 32-year-old recalls. “Summer is usually the best of couple months. Everybody plays football. I played for nearly 10 years on many different teams. Also, our national game of baseball is also very popular.”
Tauru not only played games outside, but spent quite a bit of his downtime indoors with a video game controller in his hand. The Finn is a serious gamer, so serious that if not for his involvement in mixed martial arts, he would be competing in another arena.
“Being a professional gamer was one of my dreams as well,” said Tauru. “If I was not fighting for living, that might have been my road.”
Although he loves MMA and gaming, he has one main job, and that is being a father. Tauru, a self-proclaimed “Professional Daddy”, has a young son and daughter, both of whom share his passion for athletics and gaming.
“I have been a dad for 11 years now. I do not even remember what is it like not being a dad. I love my kids and want to set a great example for them,” he states. “Of course, I am not perfect, as nobody is, but I am still doing my best in that area. I am so happy now that I actually have common interests with both my son and daughter, as they both love sports and video games.”
As they continue to grow and mature, the Tauru children have begun to follow in their father’s well-established footsteps in the combat sports realm. In fact, the kids spend a lot of time with their dad on the gym mats.
“My son actually competes in jiu-jitsu. My daughter, as a three-year-old, has trained wrestling with me,” Tauru says. “I will get them in sports clubs.”
The inspiration does not stop with the Finn’s children. “Dynamite” counts many of his close family members as sources of inspiration as he continues to pursue his career in MMA, and as he strives to be the best bantamweight in the world at his chosen profession.
“I get great energy from my family and relatives. They are crazy sometimes, but I love them still,” he says. “My fiancée Nora is also a great person who always has my back. At the moment, she is working and studying at same time, so my hat’s off to her. And of course, my kids, just for being themselves.”
There may be times when Tauru could feel weak inside the cage or during a workout. But the mere thought of his fiancée, his children, or any of his ‘crazy’ relatives will give him more than enough strength to achieve his goal.
On Friday Night, 21 April, the goal will be to defeat Belingon at ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY, and just thinking about his family could give him the extra bit of strength to overcome his Filipino opponent.