Taking his first loss as a pro was a tough pill to swallow, but local mixed martial arts fighter Timothy “War” Teves aims to climb to new heights in 2019.
“It’s my first taste of defeat as a professional, and the only way is up,” Teves said Wednesday. “Everyone loses a fight. Every dog gets their day. It’s up to you to stay down or stay up — keep moving forward. That’s what champions do. We keep moving forward. I’m expecting the best out of 2019.”
Teves, of Kapahi, was a featured fighter in the preliminary card of “Bellator 213: Macfarlane vs. Letourneau” last month at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu.
Teves aimed to keep his undefeated record in tact against Canaan Kawaihae from Kailua, but he lost to Kawaihae in a unanimous decision in a 145-pound bout.
Prior to the Bellator fight, Teves’ two pro wins came via early stoppages.
“This loss, I beat myself in this fight, I would say. I knew he was going to do what I said he was. He was going to take me down, and sure enough he did that,” Teves said. “I got a little too agressive in my fight. I went for the knockout. I’m not supposed to do that. I was supposed to just let it happen. He beat me, man. I was too agressive. I pushed the pace forward, and I got caught coming down. He really didn’t do anything. He just held me down for two rounds, but it is what it is.”
He added: “If I ran it back with him again, I’d definitely stay a little more calm. I stunned him with a few punches, and I saw him backing up. I saw him running. Just my aggression and moving forward, it tricked me into his takedown. I guess I would just stay a little calmer. I was really excited.”
Though the loss is disappointing, Teves believes it to be a “blessing in disguise.”
He aims to fight in the UFC this year.
“I got onto the big show. I got to experience the big show scene with signing autographs and taking media photos. This is getting me ready for what’s next to come,” he said. “It’s a blessing. I know what I need to work on. It was a great opportunity. Win or lose, I’m blessed and I’m stoked with where I’m at. I don’t have that undefeated record on my chest anymore. That zero off my chest was a big weight lifted off of me. Like I said, it’s a blessing. It’s only getting me ready for what’s to come.”
Teves’ preliminary fight came hours after when he expected to fight.
The preliminary card was cut off the air to start the live broadcast of the main card, and Teves fought after the main event.
“I had to wait. It threw me off mentally. … I didn’t end up fighting until four hours later,” Teves said. “From then on, it was downhill from there. I don’t want to use that as an excuse for why I lost, but that never happened to me before. I guess I was just, ‘Whatever. Let’s just do it.’ I didn’t think of it as a bad situation. I just embraced it all and was just, ‘OK, whatever. Let’s just wait. There’s nothing I can do.”
Nick Celario, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.