‘I made my name in the UFC, and I cashed out’ — Shane Burgos talks PFL 3 debut

Shane Burgos reiterates his satisfaction with his move away from the UFC ahead of his PFL debut.

By: Zane Simon | 2 months ago
‘I made my name in the UFC, and I cashed out’ — Shane Burgos talks PFL 3 debut
Shane Burgos talks to media ahead of his PFL debut. | IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

From 2016 to 2022, ‘Hurricane’ Shane Burgos was an action-fight fixture for the UFC. Coming up through the east coast regional scene, Burgos hit the Octagon as a fully fledged, front foot heavy slugger. The kind of fighter that fans love to watch. Three straight wins and an absolute war with Calvin Kattar later and Burgos was the kind of guy that fans would expect would be with the promotion forever.

Then, suddenly, he was gone.

There were hints that a move like this might happen. Shane Burgos was willing to test free agency once before, back in 2019, following a win over Makwan Amirkhani. He ended up back in the Octagon with a new four-fight deal, but once that deal was done, Burgos was right back to testing out exactly what his value might be.

Shane Burgos got a huge contract offer from the PFL

“I’m going to be making a stupid amount of money,” Shane Burgos said of his PFL move in October of last year. “The money was too good for me to pass up.”

In a rare negotiating mistake by the UFC brass, the Endeavor-owned promotion let themselves get outbid for Burgos’ services. Dana White was not happy.

“There were some mistakes that were made here. He should have still been here,” White said of Burgos’ signing with the rival promotion.

No sponsor restrictions made PFL attractive

In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, The Tiger Schulmann disciple gave a little more perspective on leaving the Octagon behind for PFL and their season format. From the sound of it, the chance to bring his own sponsors to the cage and to do commentary were major draws in the decision to jump ship.

“I’m taking the road less traveled,” says Burgos. “Guys are supposed to do what the UFC tells them. I didn’t. I made my name in the UFC, and I cashed out.”

“I ended up turning down a deal from the PFL in 2019 when I was still in that mode where I had too much pride because I was a UFC fighter,” says Burgos. “But it was an awesome offer. My manager was the one who asked me, ‘Are you a prize fighter? Or a UFC fighter?’ That’s when I really started to think about it differently. I’m a prize fighter.

“I have no problems with the UFC. But it’s better for me now here. I can add sponsors to my shorts. I’m going to do some commentary. For me and my family, it’s the right move.”

Burgos vs. OAM headlines PFL #3 2023

Shane Burgos is set to make his PFL debut this Friday at PFL #3 2023. There he’ll be facing off against 2023 season lightweight winner—and fellow former UFC veteran—Olivier Aubin-Mercier. OAM left the UFC behind in 2019 on a three-fight losing streak, and made his PFL debut in 2021. While he didn’t get a chance to compete in the finals tournament his first year in his new home, the ‘Canadian Gangster’ is unbeaten since exiting the UFC. In 2022 he rattled off four-straight victories, including a knockout over Stevie Ray in the finale to win the $1 million prize.

Burgos will enter this fight having not competed since July of last year, when he took home a majority decision over Charles Jourdain. It was an unusually control-heavy performance from Burgos. It should make for interesting viewing to see how he approaches a noted wrestle-grappler like OAM.

Shane Burgos vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier will serve as the PFL 3 main event. The card also features former season winners 2023 welterweight king Sadibou Sy vs. Jarrah Al-Silawi; 2018 welterweight champ Magomed Mogomedkerimov vs. Ben Egli, 2019 lightweight title winnner Natan Schulte vs. Stevie Ray, and 2021 lightweight winner Raush Manfio vs. Alexander Martinez. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more event coverage.

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About the author
Zane Simon
Zane Simon

Zane Simon is a senior editor, writer, and podcaster for Bloody Elbow. He has worked with the website since 2013, taking on a wide variety of roles. A lifelong combat sports fan, Zane has trained off & on in both boxing and Muay Thai. He currently hosts the long-running MMA Vivisection podcast, which he took over from Nate Wilcox & Dallas Winston in 2015, as well as the 6th Round podcast, started in 2014. Zane is also responsible for developing and maintaining the ‘List of current UFC fighters’ on Bloody Elbow, a resource he originally developed for Wikipedia in 2010.

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