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Shane Burgos: Not entertaining other contract offers would be ‘negligent’ and ‘disrespectful’ to my family

With free agency looming, UFC featherweight Shane Burgos plans to see what his value is to the open market.

“You want to see what you’re worth, and what other people think you’re worth,” he said on The MMA Hour. “You know what you’re worth, so you want to see if it matches.”

Burgos gambled on himself for his UFC Long Island fight against Charles Jourdain, fighting out his contract with the promotion. A loss could have devalued his move to the open market.

The last time Burgos made the same move, he ended his deal on a finish, stopping Makwan Amirkhani in 2019. Then he went 1-2 with a decision win over Billy Quarantillo snapping his two-fight skid. The stakes were high for Jourdain.

“I was thinking about it the whole time,” Burgos said of the fight this past Saturday. “I feel like you just double down on yourself, and it shows a level of confidence. It puts a ton of pressure on you, 100 percent, because you don’t want to go out on a loss – you don’t have any leveraging power over anything, and it’s just a bad look, for sure. But I don’t let that kind of pressure get to me. The pressure moreso was on me to get a finish.”

Burgos banked heavily on choke attempts in the first and second rounds after finding out he could take down Jourdain. The second try left his legs in a state of shock, making the final frame “five minutes of hell” as he fought back his opponent’s last-ditch effort.

Survive he did, however, and he took home a majority decision with scores of 29-28 twice and 28-28.

“I’m actually sick to my stomach when I think about that round, just because of the way my body f****** failed me like that,” Burgos said. “I’ve never felt any kind of lactic acid buildup where just taking steps was f****** exhausting.”

Burgos estimates he won’t be a true free agent until he passes a period of exclusive negotiation with the UFC. But he is adamant about understanding the marketplace for his services. At 15-3, he wants to be known as a well-rounded, title-worthy threat, and he believes that should be worth something to any promoter.

“I love being in the UFC,” he said. “I love being a UFC fighter. But it doesn’t make sense for me to not ‘test the waters,’ but we’ll see what they come back with. It would be negligent of me and disrespectful to my family to not even hear other numbers, and I would love to hear some other numbers.

“I’m not going to be sitting back for four or five months waiting for a deal, but yeah, you want to throw some numbers at me, I’m definitely open to listen.”

It helps that the marketplace is different from the one Burgos previously courted. Many UFC fighters were afraid to broadcast aspirations of bidding up their price tag, and there weren’t as many serious players in the marketplace.

Whether it’s the UFC, Bellator, PFL, BKFC, or any number of international players out there, it’s a better time to do business.

“The first time I did it, I felt like it was even more taboo,” Burgos said. “I feel like nowadays, a lot more fighters are doing it. It’s becoming way more common. The first time I did it, I was more nervous, like most people aren’t really doing this, and back then, nobody was talking about it in interviews. It’s like, hush-hush. Now, it’s a lot more common.”

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