During an appearance on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour, Burgos, who fought out his contract with a victory over Charles Jourdain at UFC Long Island last month, announced that he’s swapping the Octagon for the SmartCage, with the PFL confirming the news shortly after.
“I wanted to see what everyone else thought I was worth,” Burgos said. “So, I went out there, I tested the free agency market, and I’m excited to announce that I am signing with the PFL. It was not an easy decision, but it was an offer I could not turn up.
“The UFC has given me this opportunity, this platform, to be able to be in this position and secure this deal. So Sean (Shelby), Dana (White), Hunter (Campbell), Mick (Maynard); all the guys at the UFC, I can’t thank you guys enough,” Burgos added.
“BREAKING: WELCOME TO THE LEAGuE @HurricanShaneB!”
As part of the UFC roster for just shy of six years, Burgos shared the cage with some of the best during his tenure, recording victories over names like Jourdain, Cub Swanson, Makwan Amirkhani, and Billy Quarantillo.
Even in defeat, “Hurricane” always put on a show, with barnburners opposite Josh Emmett and Edson Barboza no doubt engraved in the memories of most fans.
Now, following in the footsteps of the likes of Anthony Pettis, Olivier Aubin-Mercier, and the recently retired Rory MacDonald, Burgos will be testing the unique league and playoff system on offer in the PFL, where a handsome $1 million check will be awaiting him should he find immediate success in his new home.
Burgos Appeared To Favor UFC Stay
Burgos’ decision will no doubt come as a surprise for most given his post-fight comments on July 16. After outpointing “Air” Jourdain in another entertaining contest, the 31-year-old appeared to make his intentions clear in his Octagon interview.
“That was the last fight on my deal. My manager over there, Malki (Kawa of First Round Management), secure me another deal. Let’s get back in the UFC,” Burgos said.
In a subsequent interview with Ariel Helwani, Burgos spoke about his “love” for competing under the UFC banner but noted that he wouldn’t be so dismissive as to ignore potential offers from elsewhere, especially with a wife and children to provide for.
“I love being in the UFC,” Burgos 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.” (h/t Bloody Elbow)
Whatever discussions were had behind closed doors, the PFL evidently made an offer that the UFC chose not to match, both for himself and his family. And with that, he’ll vacate the #14 spot in the UFC featherweight rankings and start afresh in the SmartCage.
What do you make of Shane Burgos’ decision to sign with PFL?