There might not be a fighter on the roster that hates losing as much as Shane Burgos does.
The featherweight contender will be the first to tell you that he isn’t over his back-to-back losses to Josh Emmett and Edson Barboza. And even though “Hurricane” Shane received a Fight of the Night bonus for both fights, he can’t shake the agony of defeat.
“I’m sore loser in every sense of the word, so the fact that I lost my last two fights, it ******* stings it eats at me, it festers, it really bothers me,” Burgos told UFC.com. “Especially when I look at those two fights, it wasn’t like I got my ass whooped in both those fights; they were very competitive, very good fights, but I lost. It doesn’t really matter how competitive it was, I came up short and I’m looking to get back on track and not just get a win.
“This is going to be my best performance to date.”
Burgos’ next performance will be against Billy Quarantillo on the PPV main card of UFC 268 live from Madison Square Garden in New York City. The reason that Burgos feels so confident that he’ll show out against Quarantillo are the lessons he took away from the fights with Emmett and Barboza.
“I took a lot from that; it just proved to myself that I’m one of the best in the world. A little adjustment and I know for a fact that I could have won both of those fights,” Burgos said. “With the Emmett fight, I got caught up in the moment. It was a fun, fun, fun fight, and I got a little reckless going into that third round. For the Barboza fight, it was a little bit different. I didn’t get as reckless, and I feel like I was still technically sound; the dude just hits like a ******* truck. He came around and caught me in the temple and that is what it is, but my confidence hasn’t wavered, and it’s at an all-time high going into Saturday night.”
Another reason is that the 30-year-old featherweight will be facing Quarantillo in front of his fellow New Yorkers. Burgos is 5-0 in the UFC when fighting in his home state and is 2-0 inside The Garden.
He’s compiled such a great record at home because fighting in front of friends and family in a marquee venue like MSG forces Burgos to find a laser-focused mentality during his fights. He is determined to not only put on a show, but to win for those who support him. That’s a point of pride for Burgos, and when he’s able to snap into that mode, he’s so focused that everything else falls into place.
“It’s good to be back. I’ve fought twice at MSG; I got a submission win in the first round and a TKO win in the third round, and now I’m looking to get another finish here at MSG, looking to go 3-0,” Burgos said. “It’s just a little bit of that tranquility. I’m calm at home; I love fighting at home. I live like an hour away, so Saturday night is going to be a beautiful performance.”
Burgos’ choice to soak in the moments after the fight, rather than allow the flood of emotions to course through him on fight night is a conscious decision that’s paid off so far in New York. He views UFC 268 as just another day in the office, only this time, a handful of friends and family members will be intently watching him compete.
In terms of the fight, Burgos would prefer to avoid another Fight of the Night type war and secure a Performance of the Night bonus instead. Burgos loves the way he matches up with Quarantillo and has no doubt that the rising featherweight is going to challenge him. But when push comes to shove, Burgos feels that he’s just on a different level than Billy Q.
“Billy is very similar to me. He’s a fighter’s fighter. When the referee says go, he’s looking to kill that guy. He approaches the fight game very similarly to the way I do, so I’m definitely a fan of his, but I’m going to show that there’s levels to this,” Burgos said. “I’m going to get the finish on the feet.”
“I can’t say exactly what round, I don’t really give a **** what round; I’m ready for three hard rounds if need be, but before that final bell goes off, I’m going to get the finish.”
Don't miss a single strike of UFC 268: Usman vs Covington 2, live from Madison Square Garden in New York City on ESPN+ on November 6, 2021. Prelims begin at 6pm ET/3pm PT, main card starts at 10pm ET/7pm PT.