The featherweight main card opener for UFC 262 in Houston would be awarded the event’s Fight of the Night. After a closely contested first two rounds, Burgos would throw a jab—a punch that had been serving him quite well throughout the contest—and Barboza would counter with a lightning fast right hook. Burgos looked to have ate it well for a few seconds before his body began to shut down on him as he made his way towards the cage wall and eventually dropping to the canvas leading to referee Mike Beltran stepping in to wave it off.
A little over a week later, Burgos admits that the feeling he has from a mental perspective far outweighs the physical.
“Physically I feel pretty good,” Burgos told MMA Fighting while appearing on What the Heck. “I’ve got some bumps and bruises, no headaches or anything like that. I feel pretty damn good. I’m just ready to get back to training. I want to so f*ckin bad but, obviously, I’m taking it safe. I have a family so I take my health very seriously so I’m taking it easy. I’m able to ride the bike and stuff like that so I’ve been doing that basically every day. Other than that, I can’t wait to get back to training.
“Mentally, I’m pissed. I’m really f*ckin irked and annoyed, but it is what it is and I can’t do anything to change it so I’ve accepted it, I’m gonna grow from it and I’m gonna move past it. I’m not gonna sit and dwell on it. But when you ask how I’m doing, the first thing I think of is I’m just f*ckin mad, man. It hurts.”
Barboza picked up his second straight win since making the move down to 145 pounds. For Burgos, he is now in the middle of his first career losing streak following a unanimous decision loss to Josh Emmett at UFC on ESPN 11 this past June in one of 2020’s most exciting fights.
The sting of his third professional loss has Burgos admittedly more frustrated than his previous two defeats. However, being a husband and father has allowed him to accept the result. When he thinks about how it all went down, on top of him believing the fight was even at a round apiece heading into the final stanza, he still can’t believe it.
“I thought is was a fun fight,” Burgos said. “It was going good, I thought it was going my way but I guess I’m mad... well not mad, but I threw a jab and I moved my hand right back to my head and he came over the top of it. It wasn’t like I threw the jab, brought my hand back down and he caught me clean being lazy. I threw it right out, came straight back and he came around it. So I have no excuses when it comes to that.
“I felt great, fight week was so smooth, the weight cut was so smooth. I really have no excuses. I just got caught and I guess that’s the most frustrating part. Maybe if I had an excuse it would be easier to accept but not having any excuses just hurts. It’s like, damn, what the f*ck, man. On top of that, I only have three losses ever and all three of those losses came from the third round. All three of those losses came to top-10 guys and all three of those losses came against really good opponents. They just caught me in that third round, which is the ironic part because I always feel so damn good going into the third round. In training I always feel great, in the fight I always feel phenomenal going into that last round and I’m ready to empty my gas tank completely. To have that happen three f*ckin times, it’s like what the f*ck.
“And each time, I’ve felt like I’ve gotten better. The first time [against Calvin Kattar] I got lazy and got caught. Second time, I just got reckless running into Emmett, and then this time, I just threw the punch and brought it back to my head and he came around my hand, my hand was still up. It’s just super frustrating because I feel like I did the right things and I still f*cking came up short.”
Burgos told MMA Fighting following the event that he was doing well and that he remembered everything that occurred in the wild ending to the fight. “Hurricane” was asked to recount the moments from when Barboza landed the piston-like counter right hand to when the fight was stopped.
“The weirdest part is I remember everything which is something everyone is surprised about,” Burgos explained. “I don’t have any loss of memory when it comes to that. So we’re fighting, I threw the jab, I bring it back to my head and he threw a f*ckin fast overhand right, and I didn’t even see it. It was like, boom, hit me and I was like [still moving around] but I thought, this is weird. It felt like my vision was slowly coming to a tunnel vision, my legs were getting slowly turned off. It was like somebody turning the volume down on the power button on my legs. I was bouncing and dipping down, and when I was dipping down I was trying to come back up fully, and I was slowly getting lower. I’m like, I can’t stand the f*ck up, what the f*ck is going on?
“So my mind was all there, my body just wasn’t. My legs just completely... it was slowly and then [snap] just off and I fell back into the cage. That was it. When he threw the punch, it was just so fast and I thought he just hit me with something and I was like, all right. Then it slowly all shut off. It was weird. I saw some doctor did a review—I didn’t watch it—but I heard they were attributing it to my conditioning and to my cardio, and I guess that’s a compliment. But it sucks.
“Literally, as soon as the fight ended, as soon as the referee stopped the fight [my legs started coming back]—and I definitely went out for a second, I remember waking up being like what the f*ck—I looked up at the ref and was like, you’ve got to be f*cking kidding me. I knew the fight was over and that he caught me with something. I remember laughing in the moment because I was in complete disbelief where I really felt like it was going my way. Like, are you kidding me? It was just a weird feeling, it really was.”
At the UFC 262 post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White reacted to the 145-pound scrap and stated that he told Burgos to go straight to the hospital. Burgos did exactly that, but it turned out to be much more of an adventure than he anticipated.
“Dana was cool, he came up to me after the fight and told me not to worry about media or anything like that and just go straight to the hospital,” Burgos said. “In the moment I was like, ‘Just tell me that was Fight of the Night right now. I know the rest of the card is not done, but that was Fight of the Night, right?’ He was like, ‘So far.’ So I took his word for it, that was Fight of the Night.
“So they sent me to the hospital and I really felt fine, which was super frustrating and it was just annoying. I go to the hospital and one of nurses tells us, ‘I don’t know why they sent you here. This is the busiest ER in the country. This is the No. 1 rated busiest ER in the country.’ I’m like, you’ve got to be kidding me. I was there, probably got there around 9:45 [p.m. CT] and I didn’t end up getting back to the hotel until like 3:15 a.m. I was there for a long ass time.
“They did a cat scan of my head and it came back fine, but it just took forever to get the cat scan. I was sitting there just twiddling my thumbs, we had to eat the hospital cafeteria food, and there was a couple of other fighters in there, too. I was there with Jacare, he was in there for hours. There was a bunch of us in there for a long time and within one hour that we were there, four people came in with gunshot wounds. It was insane. I saw one guy getting resuscitated on a gurney. They ran him by my room, he’s on the table and while the guy’s pushing it, [another] guy is on his chest reviving him. I’m like, this is insane, get me the f*ck out of here.”
Since getting back home, Burgos has spent a lot of time with his family, including a newborn daughter welcomes into the world a couple of weeks before UFC 262. He refuses to dwell on the loss to give his family the best of him, which is to be commended and celebrated considering the life of a fighter, as well as the sacrifices that are made on a daily basis.
As far as Shane Burgos the fighter goes, he provided an update on when he can resume his regular training regimen. Amazingly enough, Burgos could be back training at full capacity much sooner than anticipated.
“I just saw a neurologist [a few days ago] and she cleared me,” Burgos explained. “She was surprised when I was telling her I had no concussion symptoms whatsoever. I have no nausea, no lightheadedness, no fogginess, no throwing up or anything like that, no memory loss. There were no headaches at all and she was surprised, and I guess I was surprised by that, too.
“But she said concussion symptoms could come seven to 10 days later. She said, ‘After the 10-day mark, let me know and if you’re not having any symptoms then we don’t have to worry about it, but if you are, we’ll have you come back for an MRI of your brain just to be safe. Right now, just lay low, hang out, don’t go too crazy right now. Wait for the 10 days to pass and we’ll go from there.’ That’s what I’m gonna do.”