Losing doesn’t sit well with Shane Burgos.
“I’m the biggest sore loser, man,” Burgos told UFC.com. “If we play a game of tic tac toe, I want to win. I’m a huge competitor and losing pisses me the f*** off.”
Burgos’ popularity skyrocketed after that fight with Emmett. Fans loved his resilience and appreciated just how much he loves to fight. In the fight’s most critical moments, Burgos could be found with a massive grin on his face, and, upon reflection, Burgos thinks that could have been a factor in losing the bout.
“I think I got more pop from that fight than any of my other fights, and it just sucks that I didn’t get the win,” Burgos said as he shook his head. “It really pisses me off, honestly. It’s frustrating and I feel like I let it slip through my fingers. I really got caught up in the moment; it was a fun fight, and I was having a good time. I let it slip through my fingers; I got too caught up.”
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On Saturday, he’ll look to maintain his mental focus and his focus on the basics when he takes on perennial contender Edson Barboza at UFC 262. Barboza is someone that the 30-year-old New Yorker has watched for years and is definitely the type of fighter he’d like to test himself against.
“It’s fun to fight a guy like Edson. It’s a guy I’ve been watching since high school. It’s pretty weird, I’ve been watching him since before I even had my first amateur fight and now, I’m going in there and he’ll be standing across the cage from me,” Burgos said. “It’s pretty surreal, but as soon as the referee says ‘go,’ all that stuff goes out the window and he’s just another guy in my way.”
On his way to the featherweight top 10, Burgos earned three Fight of the Night bonuses. Being known as a fighter that puts on entertaining bouts is something that the New Yorker is definitely proud of, but he has a different goal in mind for Saturday night.
“I want my first Performance of the Night bonus. I’ve been saying it all camp that this is the one where I want to not just win, but I want to win emphatically,” Burgos said. “I want to win dramatically, and I want to make a statement.”
Burgos points out that fighters who defeat Barboza, especially in impressive fashion, find themselves competing in big fights. Burgos has no doubt in his mind that he not only belongs in those big moments, but that he shines when the lights are brightest.
“[Barboza] has got a couple losses but everyone he’s lost to, it meant something for those guys that beat him. Like Khabib Nurmagomedov beat him then fought for the world title; everyone that’s beat him, it’s meant something. To get a win over him and to win emphatically like I plan on doing, it’s going to mean a lot,” Burgos said. “Once the lights are on, I feel like I’m a gameday performer. I really am.”
“After this fight, I feel like it’s huge opportunities.”
Burgos’ “gameday” on Saturday will feature a full house of fans at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. It will be his first fight in front of fans since earning a victory over Makwan Amirkhani at UFC 244 in Madison Square Garden.
“I can’t wait just to feel that energy,” Burgos said when thinking about making the walk on Saturday. “It’s going to be a little surreal.”
Using that energy inside the cage will be key for “Hurricane Shane,” who expects his fight with Barboza to be fast and furious.
“There is no possible way it could be boring. I’m not looking for Fight of the Night, though; I’m looking for Performance of the Night. It’s going to be my first one, I really feel it.”
Don’t miss Burgos’s fight with Barboza at UFC 262: Oliveira Vs. Chandler, live from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas on May 15, 2021. Main card starts at 10pm ET / 7pm PT and the prelims begin at 6:30pm ET / 3:30pm PT.