Herbert Burns (4-0) isn’t getting any younger and the former Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champ is relishing the opportunity for a crack at the ONE FC Featherweight championship.
Since linking up with the Singapore-based promotion, Burns has recorded emphatic victories over much experienced opponents, most recently against Japan’s Hiroshige Tanaka at ONE FC 19: Reign of Champions. Now, riding what essentially amounts to a four-fight winning streak, Burns believes he’s closing in on a title shot.
While ONE FC officials have yet to peg the next number one contender to Jadambaa Narantungalag’s 145-lbs throne, Burns thinks that may not hold up for long. In fact, he knows he can still jump ahead to become the next contender.
He told Red Card Sports Radio that all he needs is the right type of match-up; and a top contender within the 145-lbs ranks should be enough to do the trick.
“I want a fight that will put me in line,” Burns stated. “If I don’t get it (the title shot), then I hope to get a fight that will get me the title shot. I don’t like to choose anyone but in this division, there are a lot of guys that I could face.”
With Narantungalag still feeling the effects of his title victory and the likes of Rob Lisita kept busy until year’s end, there’s plenty of time for clarity in the Featherweight title picture.
Furthermore, more often than not, a top contender is determined based on his methods of victory and the strength of his competition. Burns’ previous opponents under the ONE FC banner had a combined record of 51 victories and 29 losses. Burns, mind you, has only had four pro MMA contests to date.
The Brazilian, though, understands he needs to continue facing stronger opponents if he wants to make it to the top. And he feels a fighter like Eric Kelly will fit the bill perfectly in his bid to push his name to the top of the list.
“Right now, I think me and Eric Kelly are the closest to the title shot,” Burns said. “If I don’t fight for the title next, it will probably be him. So if I can fight him or any other contender to get to the belt, I will be happy.”
“I want to be champion. I’m 26-years-old, I’m still young but I want to have a very good MMA career so I want to face all the tougher opponents as fast as I can. I want my opponents to get tougher and tougher and that way, I can unleash my potential much faster. This is what I want and what I’m looking for.”
*Listen to the full interview with Herbert Burns on Red Card Sports Radio, here. The 26-year-old comprehensively chats about his performance at ONE FC 19: Reign of Champions, his brother Gilbert Burns, his team mates at Evolve MMA, and much more.