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5 Reasons why Herbert Burns is The Next Rightful Challenger to The Featherweight Title at One Championship

Updated on October 7, 2015

There is no question about Herbert Burns' ground ability. He owns one of the slickest and the most dangerous ground game in One Championship featherweight division with four out of his 6 wins came via submissions. Despite being undefeated with a 6-0 record, Herbert has been overlooked for a title shot in his past couple of bouts. The followings are 5 reasons why Herbert is the next rightful challenger for the featherweight title at One Championship

1. Herbert is a complete fighter: Being a BJJ no gi world champion, there might be perceptions that Herbert is too one dimensional to be a legitimate champion. However, in his 3rd professional fight in One FC 14 - War of Nations, Herbert showed that he was getting comfortable on his feet by dominating Harris Sarmiento who is a 60 fight veteran in the MMA world both on their feet and on the ground to earn a unanimous decision win.

Herbert took it up a notch in his next bout at One FC 19 - Reign of Champions against a Japanese striker Hiroshige Tanaka by out-striking the striker in another dominant performance to earn another unanimous decision win. Granted that Herbert has not knocked anyone out in any of his bout but he doesn't need to, he is very comfortable to stand and bang against any striker in the cage and his striking is an added dimension to his skill set that adds unpredictability to his game that he can utilize to setup the takedowns and get the finish on the ground.

Herbert Burns out-striked a Japanese knock out artist Hiroshige Tanaka on his way to a unanimous decision victory at One FC 19
Herbert Burns out-striked a Japanese knock out artist Hiroshige Tanaka on his way to a unanimous decision victory at One FC 19

In his most recent fight against Timofey Nastyukhin, everybody saw how good the ground control is that led to the submission, but another aspect of the fight that was equally impressive was the way he used his striking to set up the takedown. Herbert threw power punches at Timofey and even tagged him with a knee from a clinch. Herbert looked like he invited Timofey to stand and bang. Timofey must have expected to be taken down right away and must have prepared to defend the takedowns right from the start. He must not have expected to be thrown power punches at, and the moment he got confused and hesitated, Herbert thew a beautiful bait jab and immediately exploded into the takedown while Timofey was still reacting to the bait jab.


2. Best ground control: Marat Gafurov was impressive against Ev Ting in One Championship 27 - Warrior's Quest. He took Ev Ting down time and again with his explosive takedowns before getting the submission towards the end of the first round. In comparison, in 3 of Herbert's bouts at One Championship bouts when he won in the first rounds by submissions, he took his opponents down just ONCE each time, and his opponents did not get back up on their feet anymore before getting submitted. Herbert brings his opponents to the deep water, pressurising slowly and methodically breaking his opponents down on the ground until they give up each and every time. No other fighter at the featherweight division controls and applies pressures on the ground the way Herbert does.

3. High Fight IQ: There are fighters who are over relying on their strong aspect of their games in fights or over relying on their brute strength to overwhelm their opponents. This can make them predictable, and their opponents will know exactly what to expect and prepare in advance. Herbert is not only expanding his skill set diligently and continue evolving as a Mixed Martial Artist, but more so than his already impressive physical ability, Herbert's intelligent approach to his fights is actually one of his biggest strength. He can utilize any of his weapons in his arsenal in the most efficient way, meaning that he uses each of them in a precise time and manner to get the maximum impact with minimum damage. He strikes when he needs to, he takes his opponents down at the right time, and his discipline means that he remains patient to slowly and methodically break the opponents down and to find the right time to use the right tool in his fights.

4. Fans Favourite: Asia is the home of Martial Arts and One Championship being the biggest MMA promoters in Asia have followings that are very educated on the game. Highly technical, and intelligent approach of Herbert's games are not only appreciated by the fans, many look forward to seeing that all the time. Wild brawls are exciting to see, but highly technical game clearly displays the beauty of Martial Arts and at the moment there is no other athlete at One Championship Featherweight division that has a more beautiful ground game than Herbert Burns'.

5. Who is left? Is there any other worthy contender that has not been taken out by Herbert Burns?

No disrespect to any athlete of One Champinship, but in my personal opinion One Championship made a blunder in their most recent event: One Championship - Odissey of Champions which was held in Jakarta on 27 September 2015 when Herbert was overlooked in favour of Marat Gafurov for a title shot. However, it was an even bigger blunder to give the opportunity to Martin Nguyen for an interim title shot when the real champion withdrew. While I have no doubt that Martin Nguyen can be a champion one day, at the present he is simply not there yet, and the mismatch was very clear for all to see.

There is no doubt that Herbert is the rightful challenger for the featherweight gold at One Championship next, he has been for a while now and it can only be delayed for so long but cannot be stopped. Herbert has earned the honour the hard way, dispatching contenders put in his way one by one and will continue to do so until One Championship runs out of contenders that they can sign to stop Herbert Burns from challenging for the belt. It is very clear for all fans to see that Herbert is the next rightful challenger for the belt.


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