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On Friday, UFC president Dana White will be in attendance at Titan FC 54 in Florida, and Herbert Burns believes it will be the night he earns a UFC deal.
“My plan is to win this fight in an impressive way, to get a contract with the UFC,” Burns told MMA Junkie. “I believe I have all the necessary weapons to win this fight and go on to the UFC featherweight roster. I know that once I’m in the UFC, I can make it to the rankings in short order.”
Burns (7-2) faces Luis Gomez at Titan FC 54, which takes place at Xtreme Action Park in Fort Lauderdale. The card streams live on UFC Fight Pass, and White will be there to film for his show “Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight.”
There’s no guarantee a victory will get Burns a UFC deal, but he believes that once the UFC boss sees him compete, the result is inevitable, and he’ll find his way to the UFC roster alongside his brother Gilbert.
“I’m training very hard; I’m motivated to get this win and join my brother in the UFC,” Burns said. “And whether Dana White is there or not, that doesn’t add any pressure. The focus is still to win with a good performance. The different is that, if Dana is there, instead of having someone show him a video of me fighting, he can watch it live.”
Burns is no stranger to the big show, joining ONE Championship in just his second pro bout. But after six consecutive wins to start his pro run, back-to-back decision losses to Magomed Idrisov and Movlid Khaibulaev forced Burns to make some changes. Following the setbacks, Burns took a little more than a year away from MMA to focus solely on grappling before making a successful return to the sport with a December submission win at Titan FC 51.
“I decided to dedicate myself to jiu-jitsu again,” Burns said. “I won a few important tournaments. Once I decided to go back to MMA, a few small injuries delayed my return. More recently, I fought in Titan FC’s first international event in Kazakhstan. I was originally slated to face my next opponent, Luis Gomez, but he didn’t get a visa, so I ended up fighting a local opponent, Aibek Nurseit, and won by triangle.”
Burns said he went straight back to training camp following his December win and has focused on improving his strength and conditioning at the Institute of Human Performance, as well as honing his skills at Hard Knocks 365.
Now he meets Gomez, an opponent Burns said he respects but plans on finishing.
“Luis Gomez is tough,” Burns said. “He’s a former Titan champion. He’s fought some stiff competition, but I’ve faced tougher. He has good judo. A couple of his throws went viral on the internet. He lost his belt to the current champ, Jason Soares. We were already booked for December of last year, but he couldn’t get a visa. Now it’s on.
“He’s physically strong, with good judo and striking. It’s a contrast in styles. I prefer to grapple on the mat. He mostly uses throws. I believe I’ll be able to impose my game. I have a better reach, and my striking has improved a lot over the last years working with Henri Hooft in the U.S. I think I’ll impose my game and get a win by submission or TKO. That’s the plan.”
From there, Burns believes the rest will take care of itself. With White in the house, “The Blaze” believes his path is clear.
“I’ve had a good MMA career,” Burns said. “I’m back to being victorious, and now I have a chance to fight for Dana White and hopefully get back to a major MMA organization.”
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