Soriano eyes another big win in ONE MMA

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After scoring a stellar finish in his last bout, Filipino home­grown talent Burn “The Hitman” Soriano looks for another big win in his first scheduled match under the ONE Championship banner in 2017.

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Soriano will be squaring off with Malaysian standout Saiful “The Vampire” Merican on the undercard of ONE: Throne of Tigers, which takes place at the 12,000-seater Stadium Negara in Kuala Lum­pur, Malaysia on February 10.

The 30-year-old native of Narvacan, Ilocos Sur eyes a follow-up to his 15-second knockout win over Mario Satya Wirawan last August.

Filipino MMA fighter Burn “The Hitman” Soriano (left) sizes up an opponent during a bout. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Soriano delivered a well-executed spinning backfist that instantly turned the lights out on Wirawan. His knockout victory was ranked as one of the jaw-dropping wins in 2016 by ONE Championship.

“I am a fighter who always looks for the finish. As much as possible, I want to give the fans what they want to see. They didn’t buy a ticket to see a boring fight. They came for an action-packed fight with an amazing conclusion,” Soriano said.

“In my upcoming fight, my fans should expect that I will have the same mentality. I will look for that finish,” he added.

Holding a mixed martial arts record of 3-2, Soriano has not gone the distance yet in his nearly seven-year prizefighting career. He owns two submission triumphs and one knockout win.

According to Soriano, his three-round encounter with Merican will have no shortage of firepower as he expects his Malaysian foe to stand and bang with him.

Merican, 24, is an explosive striker who starts bouts fast, always looking to end matters early. Moreover, he has had incredible success inside the ONE Championship cage with his fan-friendly fighting style.

“I know he also likes to strike and have the fight in a stand-up exchange. This is a favorable match-up for me because I love to trade and bang,” Soriano said.

Aiming to continue his winning ways inside the ONE Championship cage, Soriano believes that win over Merican will push him into the upper echelon of the bantamweight division.

“I’m training hard for this fight. If I get the W, I know I will be in a better position because I can get to fight the contenders at the top of the food chain,” he said.

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