Shane Burgos wanted to put on his best performance to date the last time around against Billy Quarantillo in Madison Square Garden. And even though he came out with the victory, Burgos didn’t feel that he performed at his highest level. So he had to have mental toughness and grit to come out with a win.
Burgos explained that he had a fever during fight week, and when fight night came around, he wasn’t feeling himself. But, for him, it was nothing a quick punch in the face couldn’t solve.
“In my head, all I kept thinking was, I just need to get punched in the face right now to wake the f*** up. It’s 10:30 at night, I’m normally sleeping at this point, I’m f***ing tired, I don’t feel too good,” Burgos told UFC.com ahead of his bout at UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs Rodriguez. “I was like, I just need to get punched in the face and wake the f*** up. It happened right in the first couple seconds, I got punched in the face and I was like, oh s***, it’s time to go.”
Something clicked inside the New York native and he went home with a unanimous decision victory, snapping a two-fight skid. The featherweight is 6-0 when fighting in his home state, and he’ll look to extend that to 7-0 against Charles Jourdain in Long Island.
There’s a lot involved with fight week, such as interviews, photos, weight cuts, so being able to subtract long travel on a plane is something that helps Burgos become a little bit more stress-free, ultimately leading to the best version of himself on fight night. Because he is within driving distance, he is able to go and spend time with his wife and kids during fight week, which is always an added bonus.
Fighting in front of family and friends is something that Burgos cherishes when he fights in New York, but the support still follows him wherever he goes.
“Whether I’m fighting in Canada, Vegas, Houston, New York, Boston, I always have a huge crowd coming with me every time, so it doesn’t really matter where it is,” Burgos said. “I always feel like I’m at home, because I have so many people coming with me every time.”
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Preparation for this fight against Jourdain came with help from a previous opponent. Two years ago, Burgos and Josh Emmett put on a Fight of the Night performance, with Emmett coming out victorious. Burgos recalled it as one of the most fun fights he has ever been in. Even though Burgos lost the fight, he still had respect for Emmett, and so when the Californian called him to help train for his fight against Calvin Kattar last month, Burgos stepped in.
“As much as I can take and give, I can also gain for myself, too,” Burgos said. “He flew me and my brother out there and we had a phenomenal week, gained a lot, gave a lot. It was an awesome week.”
When looking at his opponent this weekend, Burgos said it reminds him a lot of himself, not just when he was younger, but now, as well. The 26-year-old went 2-3-1 in his first six UFC fights, most recently coming off a submission victory against Lando Vannata in April.
Just like Burgos, Jourdain is searching for the finish from the second the first bell rings to when the final bell ends, which is why the matchup has intrigued fight fans. However, Burgos feels that stylistically, the matchup runs more in his favor.
He wants to make himself uncomfortable, because if Burgos knows he is uncomfortable, Jourdain will break.
“He likes to play on the outside and when his opponents start coming forward too much, he’ll just keep that range,” Burgos said. “If you guys have seen me fight, you know that’s not how I fight. I’m in your face from the first bell to the last bell and I don’t think he likes that pressure too much.”
Coming off the heels of a featherweight title fight that saw champion Alexander Volkanovski defend his belt once again, Burgos believes that the featherweight division is not only the best division in the UFC, but the best division in the world.
He is excited to go out there and continue to show why, and this time have the best performance he’s ever had.
“I have got to put on the performance of my life and that’s exactly what I plan on doing, at 2:30 pm, the best Shane Burgos the world has ever seen.”
UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs Rodriguez, took place live from the UBS Arena in Long Island, New York on July 16, 2022. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards, and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC FIGHT PASS!