UFC 252: Herbert Burns Explains Why Daniel Pineda Is More Dangerous Than Volkanovski

Herbert Burns had a little COVID-19 scare earlier this year when brother Gilbert was forced out of UFC 251 after a positive test. Other members of Burns’ team also contracted the disease, save for Herbert — who miraculously managed to avoid becoming sick himself.

“I was worried,” Burns (11-2) admitted, speaking to Cageside Press at the UFC 252 media day. Especially given the close contact with his brother. “But the test was negative. And was negative again and again.”

“I’m still taking precautions, I’m not taking it for granted, but I believe it to be super hard for me to get a positive test,” Burns added. “I’m pretty relaxed about the COVID subject at the moment.”

Brother Gilbert, he revealed, is recovering well, taking a little time off with his family. In the meantime, Herbert has a fight with Daniel Pineda lined up. It’s Pineda’s first UFC bout in six years, and marks his return to the octagon after stints with LFC/LFA, Fury FC, Bellator, and the PFL.

Surprisingly enough, Pineda is a fighter Burns has claimed is more dangerous than featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski. Before you take it as hyperbole, hear him out.

“Daniel Pineda doesn’t go to decision. He’s not a decision man. He goes in there and finishes his job. He doesn’t let other people dictate the results of his fights,” Burns said, explaining his reasoning. “He’s always looking for a finish. He has good jiu-jitsu, he has 18 submission victories. That’s why I think he’s better than Volkanovski: he still has the knockout power, but he also has jiu-jitsu.”

Burns went on to added that Pineda “doesn’t have name recognition like Volkanovski does, but he’s a super dangerous opponent. In my view, he’s better than the champion, he’s more dangerous than the champion.”

Despite the high praise, Burns admitted that he was surprised to hear Pineda’s name as his opponent for UFC 252. “His name wasn’t on my radar,” he said. But Burns is very much the type of fighter who says “yes” to any name offered. “[Those] who want to be the champion cannot choose opponents,” he stated.

Watch the full UFC 252 media day press scrum with Herbert Burns above.