He's not an Ayatollah, but he's certainly a "Rock-N-Rolla."
Nah-Shon Burrell, 25, has already faced world class competition in several top mixed martial arts (MMA) organizations and has wins in each. He's beaten James Terry in Strikeforce, Yuri Villefort in UFC and Jesus Martinez in Bellator MMA, compiling an overall record of 11-5 along the way.
Coming off a first round technical knockout win over Ryan Hodge at New England Fights 16, Burrell prepares for a new challenge this Saturday (May 9, 2015) in Atlantic City, N.J., in the Cage Fury Fighting Championships 48 main event. He'll take on the equally decorated and well-traveled Lyman Good, who is 17-3 and undefeated since his last Bellator fight in 2013.
CFFC 48: "Good vs. Burrell," which will take place at Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, will air on the CBS Sports Network and online via GoFightLive. Today, MMAmania.com talks to Burrell about his main event fight with CFFC's current interim welterweight champion.
"This is for the TITLE title actually, because (Jonavin) Webb moved on to the UFC. I'm ready. I've been doing my heavy rounds, been doing my swimming, been doing a lot of stuff to keep the lungs right. I feel good man, way cool, body's right, mind's right, I feel good."
An undisputed title fight AND a main event all in one shot brings new pressure to Burrell, who admits it's the biggest spotlight of his career to date.
"I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a little bit. I can't remember the last time or ever that I was the main event, but other than that, it's just excitement jitters. I'm so amped and ready to go. It's another day at the office, you still gotta go there and do your job, but it is a little bit elevated."
"Rock-N-Rolla" says his mom always knew he'd be entertaining people, but he never knew in what way he'd accomplish that goal until he saw the former UFC middleweight champion on television.
"I seen a couple Anderson Silva fights and I was like, 'Ahh maybe if I train hard I can start doing that stuff.'"
If he has to compare himself to one fighter, though, it's not "The Spider." It's "The Iceman."
"(I'm a) chin down and swing as hard as you can type fighter. Yeah I would say I would be more-so Chuck Liddell than Anderson Silva."
And speaking of famous fighters, like many fight fans last weekend, Burrell was watching the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight. He was pretty sure going into the bout that Mayweather would emerge unscathed.
"No I wasn't going to bet against (Mayweather) but if you were to bet, I was thinking if I was to bet that would be a smart bet because you're not going to win too much money you know picking Mayweather. If you did put money down on Pacquiao and he did win, it would have been a nice come-up."
Burrell thinks rumors of Mayweather going into retirement after his next fight are overblown.
"I heard him talking about after this next fight he's going to be out of his Showtime contract. If he wins the next fight, all the networks have a chance to bid for him, and I know he's not gonna pass that money up."
On the subject of "Money," Burrell vows that he'll defend the CFFC welterweight title if he wins Saturday, but he's looking for a big opportunity in "the big show," possibly a second stint in UFC.
"I'm trying to get back to the show man. They handing out those bonus checks man! I'm dreaming about them checks man. I want UFC man, if it's not UFC I'll keep my belt and keep defending my belt."
He'll have to defeat Good to get that belt first. And Burrell knows that Good has one big advantage.
"I'll say his experience, I would say he's had a couple of more higher profile fights, like main event (and) a lot more pressure fights. Besides that that's where I see the advantage ending."
Burrell will have his opportunity this Saturday at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, live on the CBS Sports Network and GoFightLive. The complete audio of our interview with Burrell is below.