Carlo Bumina-ang will be looking for his third win of the year this week. The Filipino bantamweight faces Ilyas Dursun at ONE Friday Fights 44 and knows he could be one victory away from securing a long term contract with the promotion.

It is not just the result that matters. Bumina-ang knows he needs to put in impressive performances in order to make the transition from fighting on Friday nights to competing on the more prestigious Saturday morning cards.

He made his debut in 2019 but then did not fight again until this year. The Filipino is just glad to be competing regularly after such a prolonged period of inactivity,

“I’m really happy. It’s an important thing to continue fighting and stay active, so I’m really blessed to be in this position,” he said.

Honest assessment

He faced Denis Andreev at ONE Friday Fights 37 and the Russian posed him more problems than any previous opponent. Bumina-ang won by split decision and knows he was fortunate to get the nod from two of the three judges,

“Honestly, it was 50/50 in that fight. I knew I had the first round, but the second and third rounds were close for me. I’m just grateful the fight swung my way, maybe because they saw the damage and significant strikes,” he said.

It is rare for a fighter to be quite so honest. Normally both men will be adamant that they should have been declared the winner at the end of a close fight.

While Bumina-ang feels fortunate he sees it as a valuable experience that will serve him well in future fights,

“I think I’ve improved a lot since joining ONE Friday Fights. My last fight I really had to earn it. It was tough, but I know that my experience there really grew. I got more confident as well.”

New generation

He is part of a new generation of fighters emerging from Team Lakay. Big names like Eduard Folayang, Joshua Pacio and Kevin Belingon might have left the camp but there is plenty of young talent left behind.

The 29 year old might have started MMA relatively late in life but he is proving a fast learner. His team has played an important part in the process and it sounds like they have analyzed the fight with Andreev in some depth,

“We looked at the things that made it difficult for me, especially the knees from the last fight. So we studied that and tried to change the mistakes so I don’t get to experience it in this fight. We’re gonna adjust definitely.”

Identical records

Dursun also holds a 3-0 record meaning that both men come into Friday’s fight in similar situations. The Turkish fighter will be fighting at Lumpinee Stadium for the first time and his previous wins have not come at the expense of elite opponents.

He finished Reza Saedi inside a minute at ONE Friday Fights 12. It sounds like Bumina-ang feels he might have let this success get to his head,

“What I learned from the past fights (is) if I actively look for that finish I lose my focus. I want to finish it naturally (and) get the good KO or submission.”

Bumina-ang was unable to finish Andreev last time out. If he can put away Dursun this week then a ONE Championship contract offer could await the Team Lakay representative.