Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Herbert “The Blaze” Burns made his return to the ONE Championship cage looking for redemption, as he sought to erase a painful loss last February to Russia’s Movlid Khaibulaev.
Burns, considered among the cream of the crop at featherweight due to his immense grappling skill, went to battle with undefeated Russian star Magomed Idrisov, who employed a highly-effective counterpunching strategy to thwart the Brazilian’s forward advances.
The pair locked horns on the preliminary card of ONE: KINGS & CONQUERORS in a three-round featherweight contest on Saturday, 5 August at the Cotai Arena in Macao.
The first round saw Idrisov connect on various combinations, strafing Burns with rights and lefts as the Brazilian tried to retreat to his grappling. Idrisov, however, would not follow Burns to the ground, being fully aware of Burns’ exceptional grappling ability.
The second round showed much of the same action, with Idrisov countering successfully with a beautiful display of boxing and exceptional head movement. Idrisov even managed to connect on a spinning back fist that caught Burns off guard. Towards the end of the round, Idrisov even dropped the Brazilian with a straight right as he caught a high kick.
In the third and final round, Burns came out of his corner with a sense of urgency, and tried his best to take matters to the mat where he owned a tactical advantage. With Burns piling on the pressure, Idrisov continued to counter with pinpoint accurate punching.
Burns threatened with submissions late in the final few seconds of the bout, but it wasn’t enough to sway the judges’ decision. In the end, all three judges saw the contest in favor of Idrisov, who sent Burns to his second straight loss in the ONE Championship cage.
It was an impressive debut for the undefeated Russian, Idrisov improved his perfect record to 8-0. On the other hand, Burns dropped to 6-2, now falling in his last two outings.
It has been an abrupt fall from grace for Burns, who at one time was considered a serious contender to the featherweight title. With two losses in a row, the former Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion is sent reeling back to the drawing board.