The featherweight bout took place in the co-main event of UFC on ESPN 11 and earned “Fight of the Night” honors (which was no surprise to anyone who watched it). Emmett—despite a litany of injuries including a completely torn ACL—earned the unanimous decision and his third straight win.
When the new UFC rankings came out on Tuesday, Emmett remained in the No. 8 spot, despite Frankie Edgar being a spot above him ahead of Edgar’s move to the bantamweight division. In a much more surprising turn of events, Burgos dropped five spots to the bottom of the top-15.
“Dude, it’s f**kin’ weird,” Burgos told MMA Fighting while appearing on What the Heck. “I lost and I was pissed enough because I felt like I won, but to have that happen on top of that, that was a slap to my f**kin’ face. I lost to the No. 8 ranked guy, a guy that’s been sleeping everybody that he’s been fighting. I went out there and had a f**kin’ Fight of the Year potential kind of fight and then you’re gonna disrespect me like that?
“I f**kin’ hate the rankings. They kind of f**k everything up because, obviously, you only want to fight guys who are ahead of you so you only have X amount of matchups that you can even go for. On top of that, you want to knock me back even more? What the f**k more do you want? I lost a close fight to the No. 8 guy when I was ranked 10. How do I go back that many spots?
“It’s f**kin’ crazy.”
“Hurricane” is now 6-2 in the UFC and entered the UFC APEX a winner of his last three. Prior to UFC on ESPN 11, Burgos picked up an impressive third-round TKO win over Makwan Amirkhani at UFC 244 in November.
Burgos has a strong stable of fans behind him and as soon as they saw the rankings, they lent him their support.
“A lot of people are like, ‘F**k that, the rankings don’t mean sh*t. Don’t stress it,’” Burgos said. “To an extent, I completely agree. They don’t mean sh*t. They’re somebody’s opinion, but on the other hand, they do mean something. It’s crazy. They don’t mean something, but when it matters they do mean something. It’s frustrating.”
The fight between Emmett and Burgos lived up to the hype and then some. The Tiger Shulmann standout pushed forward through most of the fight, landing in volume, while Emmett answered with a series of powerful strikes. Burgos was praised throughout the three rounds for his incredible chin and durability.
All things considered, Burgos doesn’t feel as badly as people may have thought he would—from a physical sense, anyways.
“I feel pretty good, honestly,” Burgos stated. “It’s more mental than anything. I’m really f**kin’ salty because I really did think I did enough to win that fight. I’m a little bit pissed about that but, physically, not too bad.”
Despite losing the hard fought battle on the judges’ scorecards, Burgos competed with a smile on his face through even the most difficult moments.
“I’m pissed that I lost but I really f**kin’ had a good time,” Burgos explained. “That was a fun fight. I enjoyed it, every second of it. When he dropped me on my butt twice, it pissed me the f**k off. But I remember just laughing at him, ‘Damn, you f**ker.’
“The first two rounds I was eating all his shots and the third round, he caught me with those left hands by surprise. But it was a fun fight.”
Win or lose, this sport doesn’t allow you to rest on your laurels too much. Everyone wants to know what’s next. For Burgos, after one of the best three-round fights of the year thus far, he’s going to make sure everything is tip-top before making that decision.
“I thought about it a little bit but I have to take some time, obviously,” Burgos said. “It was a hard fight and I took some shots. I pride myself on being able to take shots but I pride myself on being a smart fighter and a smart athlete.”
“I have a daughter so my health is No. 1,” he continued. “So I’m getting all my tests done and everything like that, making sure I’m good, (that) I have no concussion, making sure I have no broken bones, everything like that. Once that’s said and done, I’m gonna take at least a month off of sparring. I definitely want to be back by, I’d say, September.”
He agrees, although there are a lot of exciting potential matchups in a loaded 145-pound division.
“That’s an awesome fight,” Burgos stated. “My division is—obviously, I’m a little bit biased but I’m a huge fan—the best division when it comes to matchups. You can put anybody in the top-15 against each other and have a good f**kin’ matchup. Not just in the top-15, you got guys outside of the top-15 that are just so fun to watch.”