Hailing from Ilocos Sur, Philippines, ONE Championship athlete Burn “Hitman” Soriano has both the looks and the skills of an action star. But on the list of the things the Filipino mixed martial artist wants to try, acting is not included.
I met Soriano on the evening of January 12, 2018 during the dedication ceremony of Brawler’s Lab in Valenzuela City, Metro Manila. The gym is owned by Gabay Forlales, the conditioning coach of Soriano in his second ONE Championship bout.
Since 2017, Soriano has been training with reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera. The latter went on hiatus in 2017 while filming the action movie “Buy Bust,” which marks his acting debut.
In my interview with Soriano, I asked him what he would rather be if he had to choose between an MMA champion and an action star. He quickly said he would rather be the former.
“Martial arts for life,” Soriano noted. Trying to change his mind, I asked him if he would still consider acting even just for a supporting role but he still said no.
“It’s not my thing,” Soriano said. He added that some of his sparring partners are actors but pursuing a career in acting never crossed his mind.
What Soriano focuses on right now is to go back into the cage this 2018 and get the win again. He acknowledged that 2017 was bad for some MMA fighters like him.
When Soriano made his ONE Championship debut on April 15, 2016 at “ONE: Global Rivals,” he lost to Sunoto of Indonesia via technical knockout via submission to punches. On August 27, 2016, Soriano redeemed himself by knocking out Mario Satya Wirawan of Indonesia via spinning back fist at 0: 15 of Round 1 at “ONE: Titles and Titans” but this was followed by Soriano’s losses to Saiful “The Vampire” Merican of Malaysia and “Rock Man” Chen Lei of China in 2017.
Soriano’s feat over Wirawan was one of the fastest knockouts in the ONE Championship cage. At the time, Soriano’s conditioning coach was Forlales.
Also a fighter, Forlales knows what he is doing and he has sufficiently studied what he is teaching, Soriano pointed out. When I asked Soriano who his favorite MMA fighter of all time is, he said it is the reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion.
Watch my interview with Soriano here: