Billy Quarantillo is preparing for his upcoming fight with Shane Burgos to live up to the hype with hopes of picking up the biggest win of his career.
Quarantillo and Burgos will compete in a featherweight matchup on the main card at UFC 268, which takes place this Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York. On a fight card that features two championship rematches and a lightweight bout between Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler, the 32-year-old has all intentions of stealing the show.
“I’m coming for a bonus,” Quarantillo told MMA Fighting. “I’ve got a feeling they’re going to bump it up to $75,000, I don’t see why not. Whether it’s a Performance of the Night, Fight of the Night, if I have to dig deep and be the most violent fighter on the card, that’s my goal. I think I have a better chance of getting it now that I’m on the main card. Out of the other four fights, one of them has got to be a bit of a snoozer, right?
“Me and Shane are gonna be fireworks either way and that was a smart decision to put us on the main card because they know it’s gonna be a great fight.”
Quarantillo is 4-1 in his octagon career, which includes a high-paced third-round TKO finish of Gabriel Benitez in his most recent appearance at UFC Vegas 31 in July.
On the flip side, Burgos will be looking to snap a two-fight skid — a unanimous decision loss to Josh Emmett at UFC Vegas 3 in June 2020 and a third-round knockout loss to Edson Barboza at UFC 262. While Quarantillo admits that Burgos’ three UFC losses have been against top-tier opposition, he believes there are holes in his opponent’s game he’ll be able to take full advantage of.
“I match up good with him and I’m on a hot streak right now,” Quarantillo said. “I’m really confident heading into this fight and I think I’m a really good matchup for Burgos.
“His three losses are to Calvin Kattar, Josh Emmett and Edson Barboza, all really good strikers and all top-10 guys. I just think that he makes a lot of mistakes that he hasn’t really corrected. In his last two fights, he got hit a lot and I’m sure he’s made a lot of adjustments, but at the same time his biggest weapons are things that I’ve dealt with before: big power punchers, good strikers — which I’ve beaten a lot of good strikers before. He only has five knockouts and a lot of them were early in his career. I actually have more knockouts than [he does].
“People always talk about how goos his striking is, I think he has a lot more to worry about with my muai thai, my kicks, my knees, my elbows, my wrestling. While he has really good boxing, he’s kind of predictable with his striking and he needs to worry about everything that I do.”
With a win over Burgos, Quarantillo could see his life and career change a bit: more money, bigger fights, and closer to title contention. But that’s not what he’s focused on, he’s focused on the task at hand, because without this victory, all of those things he strives for will take a bit longer to achieve.
“I’m not gonna break him with conditioning, he’s not gonna break me with conditioning, so it’s gonna be whoever puts it on the person, whatever it takes, that’s what I’m in for,” Quarantillo stated.
“I would obviously love to get a first-round finish, that’s the goal and the game plan. At the end of the day, whatever it takes to win this fight is what I’m willing to do because I know how important it is. This could be a fight early in my career for $500 and I’m still willing to die in the cage because I know what each win does in my career. It pushes me up a position in this division and I’m gonna do every single thing it takes. If I have to leave in an ambulance, if I get carted out of there, as long as I get my hand raised I don’t really care.
“I’m not worried about the after party, I’m not worried about what’s next, I’m not worried about having to walk the next day. I’m putting everything I have in those 15 minutes and I’ll live with myself, no matter what happens.”