Nowadays, mixed martial arts operates under the premise: If a fight doesn’t make dollars, it doesn’t make sense.
At the amateur level, competitors are paid in experience, which is priceless but doesn’t swell a bank account. In an interview with NorCal Mixed Martial Arts.com, Chris Burton (4-2), 209 Beatdown’s Featherweight Champion, demonstrated, even as an amateur, a desire to scoop his career into his own hands leading into the second edition of 209 Beatdown on April 29, 2017.
Of course, Burton made it clear: he wouldn’t balk at anything the executives at 209 Beatdown handed him. But if he had any say-so in the matter, he’d choose to challenge the promotion’s bantamweight title-holder, Christopher Elisarraras (5-2); a bout that, in Burton’s opinion, would fill all 2,000 seats in the Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium.
Easy-going, charismatic, laser-beam focused, and already behaving as the professional he hopes to soon become, the reigning 145-pound owner of the 209 Beatdown belt was confident in his ability to pack the house in his first title defense because of how large his gathering was when he claimed ownership of the freshly minted belt back at 209 Beatdown 1 by way of TKO in the first round:
“Oh man…It felt amazing! It was in front of all my family and friends in my hometown. I’ve never fought in my hometown before; it was one of the greatest things.”
More importantly than another piece of hardware to mount on his wall, his determination to ditch the C.A.M.O (California Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Organization) regulated six-ounce gloves for a lighter weight and heavier competition relayed loud-and-clear. Allowing Burton to assess his skill set against an opponent such as Elisarraras would answer any lingering questions about his decision to progress forward as a prizefighter:
“This is actually going to be my last ammy fight. I want to take out the 135 champion, belt-for-belt, champion-versus-champion. If they don’t give me that fight, I’m down with whoever they want to send my way. But if it was up to me, I’d want to challenge the 135 champion.”
Burton’s positivity and inner-drive radiated throughout the interview, and he surrounds himself with others who are like-minded, splitting his training with Team Alpha Male (TAM) and Beast Mode MMA. With TAM housing world-class mixed martial artists, the Stockton native is busily searching for a home in the Sacramento area to train full-time, thereby, expediting his development:
“I’m usually over there [TAM] getting prepared for tough fights ahead. They’re studs, all of them. Any little detail, they’ll fix; anything missing, they’ll fill it in. They’re there for everything.”
First things first, whether it’s at 145 or 135-pounds, Burton is scheduled to stand, front-and-center, inside the Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium, and he’s energized to, once again, perform in front of those he’s closest to,
“I can’t wait for  Beatdown 2—where they [friends and family] are all going to come out again, even better than before. I know I can’t lose in front of them; it’ll never happen. If I do, I’m going out swinging.”
When someone as charismatic and talented as Burton becomes the captain of his own ship, he won’t necessarily wind up wherever the winds try to blow him.
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