In a battle of undefeated featherweights, Movlid “Killer” Khaibulaev kept his flawless record intact on Friday Night, 10 February, as he outclassed Herbert “The Blaze” Burns in his ONE Championship debut.
The Moscow, Russia, native earned a dominant unanimous decision victory at ONE: THRONE OF TIGERS, which took place in the Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Despite a tightly-contested first round, Khaibulaev dominated this match. The opening stanza started in thrilling fashion, as the Russian caught Burns’ leg and dropped him with a stiff right cross. “The Blaze” got back up, but the two grappled against the cage with Khaibulaev, a former Dagestan Wrestling Champion, securing the takedown.
Burns, a No-Gi BJJ World Champion, attempted a few submissions including a leg lock and a gogoplata, but “Killer” was able to avoid the attempts and jumped into his opponent’s guard. The Brazilian successfully neutralized his opponent’s movement and tried working in a few more holds, but inactivity caused a stand-up in the action. Khaibulaev got the better of the striking exchanges, and landed another strong right before the round concluded.
From there, it was all “Killer”. Burns threw a few jab-cross combinations, but Khaibulaev had the better and more diversified striking. He connected with crosses, kicks, and powerful hooks. The Moscow, Russia, native even landed a spinning back fist, and then immediately took his rival down with relative ease. But soon, he stood back up, preferring to keep the match on the feet.
Khaibulaev continued to pick apart the Brazilian, who tried falling into guard on a couple of occasions. But the Russian featherweight allowed Burns to get up, where he kept outclassing him in the striking department.
Burns came out more aggressively in the third round, even landing a sharp cross of his own, but Killer controlled the action the entire time. Khaibulaev shook off the Brazilian’s early takedown attempt, threw him to the ground, and softened his nemesis with a variety of knees and elbows to the ribs and the side of the head. He even slid into a high full mount.
Although the No-Gi BJJ World Champion postured up, escaped, and grabbed a leg for a possible heel hook, the Russian maintained his composure. In fact, he slipped away and regained side control. He continued to control his opponent, landed more strikes, and remained dominant until the final bell rang.
With the win, Khaibulaev, who trains alongside ONE Featherweight World Champion Marat Gafurov, pushes his spotless record to 11-0. Burns, meanwhile, experiences his lone blemish and drops to 6-1.