Jadamba Narantungalag defeated Koji Oishi to become the One FC featherweight champion in August, and Friday’s One FC 23 event in Pasay City, Philippines, might set him next in line for a shot at the gold.
Undefeated prospect Herbert Burns will clash with former champion Honorio Banario at One FC 23 on Dec. 5, and he heard from his manager that the promotion will give him a shot at the 145-pound title if he beats Banario on Friday.
"Chatri Sityodtong, founder of Evolve MMA, told me that One FC confirmed that I will fight for the title if I win this fight," Burns told MMAFighting.com.
Burns is 4-0 in MMA with three wins inside the One FC cage. After a sub-minute finish over Edward Kelly in his promotional debut, the jiu-jitsu expert scored decision victories against Hiroshige Tanaka and Harris Sarmiento.
This time, he wants another finish.
"I don’t want this fight to go the distance," Burns said. "I want to finish him, and I want to fight for the title next. I want to end this quickly. I want to submit him, but my hands are great and I can also knock him out. I was promised a title fight, but I want to think about this fight first."
"I finished my first couple fights in under a minute, but that’s not easy," he continued. "I fought a well-rounded, experienced fighter in my third fight. Harris Sarmiento had more than 60 fights in his record when I fought him, and I tried to finish him all the time. I couldn’t get the finish, but I dominated him everywhere.
"In my most recent fight, against (Hiroshige) Tanaka, I got sick days before the fight and they wanted to cancel it. I was hospitalized for two days before I went to Dubai, and that hurt my performance. I got his back in the first round and knocked him down in the second, but couldn’t finish. I got too tired, so I played it safe. This time, I’m 100 percent confident that I will finish the fight."
After starting a successful run in the One FC cage, Evolve MMA suffered a pair of tough losses at One FC 22. Leandro Ataides lasted 17 seconds against new middleweight champion Igor Svirid, while Koji Ando dominated Zorobabel Moreira en route to a TKO victory.
"We were very sorry with our recent losses, with Zorobabel and Ataides, and those losses opened our eyes," Burns said. "Ataides got caught, but Zorobabel was dominated standing, so we worry about our striking defense more now. My opponent is a striker, but I trained with a lot of muay thai legends for this fight."
Banario enters the featherweight bout in a three-fight losing skid, but Burns won’t underestimate him.
"Honorio Banario was the first One FC featherweight champion and is really popular here in Asia," he said. "He was the underdog and beat Eric Kelly to win the title. He’s well rounded and younger than me, but has a history in the striking game, and he wants to get back in the title mix."