ONE Championship has some great fights added officially to its ONE CHAMPIONSHIP 52: THRONE OF TIGERS lineup, including the return of Pinoy pride bantamweight prospect Burn “The Hitman” Soriano.
The Filipino warrior from Ilocos Sur will look to keep his confidence high and win his second in a row at 135 when he faces ‘The Vampire” Saiful Merican to improve his 3-2 record. The two are set to clash at Stadium Negara, Kuala Lumpur on February 10.
It was all eyes on “Burn/Hitman” when he used the now his famous spinning back fist on Mario Satya Wirawan who holds the fastest KO record (6 seconds) to finish at the :15 mark of Round 1 and earned his first win in ONE Championship. The big knock out victory took place in Jakarta, Indonesia at ONE Championship 46: Titles and Titans on August 27, 2016. It was also the Second Top-rated insane Knockout of 2016 in the promotion.
“The fight with Mario Wirawan was just a warm up fight for me since I lost to his countryman Sonoto who failed to make weight at the time of our fight. I told myself that I needed a solid redemption, and that became my motivation which led to my spectacular finish.”
Related article: Edward Kelly and Burn Soriano’s Big Knockout Victory at One Championship 46: Titles and Titans
His ONE Championship debut against another Indonesian fighter Sunoto Peringkat last April 2016 didn’t go as planned. That however didn’t stop Soriano from trying and working hard when he stepped back in the cage to win his next battle.
|His coaches and team mates are pushing him
everyday and shaping him into a better fighter.
Bernard has been hitting the gym hard as he prepares for fight number 3 at ONE. The guy was posting photos and videos on Instagram: burn_hitman and Facebook: /bernard.soriano.980 showing some of the hard work he have been putting in. He is such a driven athlete. We have seen more from Soriano in terms of ground game. But the man also proved that not only he has one trick. It’s deadly if he keeps using his range while striking. All 3 of Soriano’s pro MMA wins have been stoppages whether it submission or knockout.
Soriano is looking forward to represent Hitman MMA and fly the Philippine flag high again. He is ready for the challenge!
Before punches being thrown in the cage next month, he answered my questions thrown at him first.
What do you think your edge/s over more experienced fighter (@ONE) Saiful Merican?
“I’ve been in this sport for a long time. I’ve had five kickboxing fights, winning all of them by KO. I believe that I have a better mma team. We have a lot good strikers and grapplers, including a BJJ black belt, and we even have a partially blind fighter who became a local champion and is now on the way to becoming a One FC fighter. This is the team I’ve been training with.”
Your spectacular KO win against Mario Wirawan for sure gave you a lot of confidence, have you ever thought of one day you will also contend for the belt?
“Getting the belt has always been the goal of every fighter. I don’t think much about it right now as I’m working my way up, but let’s see if I can continue my dominance in this competition someday.”
What can you say about Eduard Folayang’s taking home the lightweight belt? and potentially facing off with Team Lakay’s Kevin Belingon in the future?
“I’m proud of Edward not just because he’s our kababayan, but because he really worked hard for it. As we all know, these fighters from Baguio are very hard-working and very dedicated to their craft. Facing Kevin Belingon is one of my dream fights as well, so if we ever meet along the way, that would give me the opportunity to become a step closer to my the One Championship gold.”
Who among fighter/s both local and international you look up to and why?
“Brandon Vera, he’s been there a long time, a champion and a true legend. BJ Penn who’s my idol and one of the reasons I started MMA myself. My good friend Gab Dy, a PXC fighter, he’s an inspiration to me. He’s very hard-working and talented.”
Who was the toughest opponent for you?
“Honorio Banario. He’s bigger than me, and my cardio was not as good as it is today which led to my defeat.”
If you weren’t a fighter, what would you be today?
“I’m actually fighting purely for passion and fun, but I’m a full-time businessman.”
Who among local fighter/s do you see has a potential to belong at ONE Championship?
“I’m not being biased, but in our MMA team, Hitman MMA, there’s a lot of deserving fighters. Take Jiar Castillo, for example, who is the current AFC Champion.”
Aside from MMA, what other sports you’re into?
Your message to your fans, to MMA fans in the Philippines
“Continue to dream because that’s where it all starts, as Les Brown said, “You don’t have to be great to start something, but you have to start something to be great.”
Malaysian superstar Ev “E.T.” Ting takes on lightweight veteran Kamal Shalorus at the top of the card. Also in action are Roy Doliguez who is also a pride of the Philippines, Alex Silva, Agilan Thani, Jeff Huang, Ann Osman, Vy Srey Khouch, Herbert Burns, Movlid Khaibulaev, Keanu Subba, Ahmed Mujtaba, Tiffany Teo, Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol, Muhammad Aiman and Eduardo Novaes.
|The official ONE: Throne of Tigers card