It’s a widely held belief that it takes more muscles to frown than smile, and every one of them tensed—along with all the other bulging sinew throughout the featherweight frame—on Chris ‘Cross’ Burton (5-3) when discussing his upcoming opponent, Conan ‘The Barbarian’ Orozco (2-1), for the vacant 209 Beatdown Featherweight Title at 209 Beatdown 4.
The heat Burton houses for Orozco scorched the airwaves when the former champ at 145-pounds visited Episode 102 of the @norcalfightmma Podcast (link here). Not only do listeners unearth the root of Burton’s yearn to demolish ‘The Barbarian,’ those who tune-in will also discover his desire to extinguish the burn of his recent loss before hometown friends, family, and fans.
In the previous installment of 209 Beatdown, 209 Beatdown 3, Burton relinquished his belt to David Dzasokhov after being out-grappled for the entirety of the contest. Months after the decision loss, Burton still struggles to digest what transpired. He vowed a fluke, as he described was his last performance, wouldn’t repeat itself inside the Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium on January 6, 2018.
“I want to fix my problem that I had in my last fight,” Burton began. “I want to show everything I can do; I want to do it all. I want to show everything I possibly can to prove my last fight was a mistake.”
As Burton primes himself to enter MMA’s professional ranks, a high-stakes affair in his own backyard with the all-amateur promotion, paired with plumes of disdain for his opposition, will be a fair assessment of an ability to compartmentalize in the midst of the emotional blender a sanctioned fistfight presents. Though Burton has generalized his hatred for Orozco as that of: defeating a fellow team member, John Casem, in his last outing, the actual burr in Burton’s craw was Orozco’s lack of mixing the martial arts into his game.
“I don’t really like him too much. I’ve been telling everybody that I don’t like Conan because he fought my teammate, and it’s not so much that he fought and beat my teammate. It was a good fight; it was cool,” Burton recalled. “The problem was: When he laid out my dude, he kept trying to hit him. I’m not sure if he knew the bell was ringing, but it sure looked like the ref was trying to pull him off and he was still trying to hit my guy.”
Training alongside Beastmode MMA and Team Alpha Male, each squadron has been helping Burton hone his physicality—along with his mindset.
“I just want to get this ‘W,’ but if I end up coming out on top and knocking his ass out, I kind of want to do him like he did my boy. A lot of people are telling me, ‘Don’t do him like that.’”
A shiver ran the length of listeners’ spines when they couldn’t determine whether or not Burton would display warmth and compassion after toppling Orozco or slam down punches like a gavel of retribution upon a body that’s been frozen stiff.
“We’ll see what happens when his head hits the canvas.”