The UFC’s featherweight division is a shark tank, featuring some of the sport’s most talented fighters. There are guys like champion Alexander Volkanovski, former champion Max Holloway, Zabit Magomedsharipov, Calvin Kattar, Brian Ortega and “The Korean Zombie” sitting at the top of the rankings.
And New York’s Shane Burgos is ready to swim amongst them.
Burgos is confident that with a statement victory over Josh Emmett at UFC Vegas 3 this weekend, he will cement himself as one of the division’s top contenders.
“2020 has been a s***** year for the entire world but it is going to be the year that I make my rise and make my name known,” Burgos told UFC.com. “I am number ten right now and he’s number eight and that means I’m going to go in there put on a show and make noise.”
The 29-year-old Burgos has seven UFC bouts under his belt and will be featured in his first co-main event on Saturday. It’s a steppingstone for Burgos, who hasn’t fought professionally outside of the northeast corner of the United States yet.
Burgos enters the bout on a three-fight win streak that consists of two finishes and a decision victory over veteran Cub Swanson. He can feel the momentum building and he believes the co-main slot on Saturday’s card is a perfect opportunity to make a big move.
“I’m excited for this one because I’m fighting a guy like Josh Emmett. It’s a f******* fire fight and it’s going to have a ton of eyeballs on it,” Burgos said. “In my mind it’s important to get a finish no matter what. I want it to be definitive, I want to it be something I did, not what three judges decided. I want people to remember my name and then go, ‘Damn, I can’t ever miss another one of this kid’s fights again.’”
Since joining the UFC in 2016, “Hurricane Shane” has definitely earned a reputation as an exciting fighter, showcasing an incredible gas tank, combined with poise and explosiveness. Now he’s ready for his name recognition to catch up with what he can do in the Octagon.
“I never thought about when I would get to this point since it really has always been about the title,” Burgos said. “I know getting main events and co-main event slots are important and all that because it shows that I’m making moves. I have to perform my best and I can’t wait to do what I do.”
Emmett faces Burgos coming off of back-to-back knockout wins over Mirsad Bektic and Michael Johnson. Those victories reminded people that Emmett has real power in his hands and proved that he is still a real threat at featherweight.
“He has knockout power, for sure, and he’s going to be willing to stand with me. If you’re in the way and he loads up that right hand and lands, he’ll knock your block off,” Burgos said of his opponent. “I’m going to dictate the range and be the cleaner striker on Saturday. It’s a great stylistic matchup for me and I’m going for the kill from the second it’s go time.”
Make sure you watch Burgos take on Emmett on ESPN and ESPN+ at 8pm ET / 5pm PT.