Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight knockout artists Josh Emmett and Shane Burgos collide this Saturday night (June 20, 2020) at UFC on ESPN 11 from inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Since relocating down to 145 pounds, Emmett has proven himself an absolutely vicious puncher, landing three knockouts and a handful more knockdowns. Currently ranked inside the top 10, Emmett is looking to score his third straight win and force his way into the title picture.
Burgos is a hell of a puncher himself and does have two knockout wins inside the Octagon. Having won six of his seven UFC bouts to earn the No. 10 spot in the rankings, Burgos is in a similar position to Emmett, looking for one more big victory to really push him forward.
Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:
Key Wins: Mirsad Bektic (UFC Fight Night 174), Ricardo Lamas (UFC on FOX 26), Scott Holtzman (UFC on FOX 22), Michael Johnson (UFC on ESPN 2)
Key Losses: Jeremy Stephens (UFC on FOX 28), Desmond Green (UFC 210)
Keys to Victory: Emmett has the build of an aggressive bruiser, but really, Emmett likes to circle the outside. When he does attack, he explodes into very quick combinations of decidedly deadly punches.
The collegiate wrestler has finished six foes via knockout.
In this bout, Emmett should be looking to counter. Burgos knows nothing else but to come forward and throw volume. The solution to such high-volume offense is frequently patience and accurate counters, a strategy Emmett should be able to follow well. It’s actually his usual fighting style, as Emmett tends to circle and lull his opponent into a false sense of security.
Until the right hand connects.
However, it will be a balancing act. Emmett cannot let Burgos dictate the pace completely and solely rely on the knockout shot. Instead, Emmett would be wise to pick his moments to score big with combinations or even takedowns.
Key Wins: Cub Swanson (UFC Fight Night 151), Godofredo Pepey (UFC on FOX 25), Charles Rosa (UFC 210), Makwan Amirkhani (UFC 244)
Key Losses: Calvin Kattar (UFC 220)
Keys to Victory: Burgos stalks his opponents. Hiding behind his shoulder, Burgos advances, just waiting for his opponent to attempt a jab. He’s always loaded to slip and fire the overhand or left hook on the counter, but Burgos will also target the body frequently.
Burgos’ love of body punching will be key here. Emmett hits too damn hard to chance frequent exchanges without at least taking away a bit of the sting on his shots. Body shots will do just that, as will Burgos’ tricky inside low kick that he often throws after rolling.
On the whole, Burgos prefers the pocket, whereas Emmett likes to hang out of range then explode forward. As such, Burgos’ goal should be to cut off the cage and force Emmett into close distance exchanges. That’s obviously dangerous, but Burgos tends to thrive in extended firefights and pocket exchanges.
If he’s landing body shots and throwing punches in bunches safely, Burgos puts himself in great position to pull ahead.
Bottom Line: This is an amazing Featherweight clash with real potential for excellent kickboxing technique and a big knockout.
Both Emmett and Burgos enter this bout under similar circumstances. They’ve both won most of their recent fights against fairly tough competition, and both men are hoping to take that next step into scrapping with top five-ranked opponents. In a division as talent-rich as Featherweight, those fights are hard to come by.
In short, there’s plenty on the line. A win here should elevate the victor up a couple spots and set him up for a high-profile contest next time out. Meanwhile, a loss may not drop the fighter down the ladder too much — the two are ranked next to each other after all — but it does likely force the defeated athlete to spend at least a couple fights dealing with up-and-comers further down the division.
At UFC on ESPN 11, Josh Emmett and Shane Burgos will go to war in the co-main event. Which man will remain standing when the dust settles?
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