Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight scrappers Shane Burgos and Billy Quarantillo will battle this weekend (Sat., Nov. 6, 2021) at UFC 268 inside Madison Square Garden in New York, New York.
Burgos enters this fight in something of a must-win position. Don’t get me wrong: UFC should never, ever cut “The Hurricane,” because he’s really good and his fights are consistently awesome. However, Burgos has been straddling the line between action fighter and contender for a long time, but recent results are really pushing him towards the former despite goals of the latter. Sometimes, one fight can completely change your perception of a fighter. Quarantillo’s beatdown of Gabriel Benitez last time out did just that, as “Billy Q” showed far more depth and skill to his stand up game than any previous point, elevating himself from the ever-growing group of middling “Contenders Series” products.
Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:
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), Josh Emmett (UFC on ESPN 11), Edson Barboza (UFC 262)
Keys to Victory: Burgos simply doesn’t understand how to have a boring fight. The hulking Featherweight pressures opponents relentless, flicking a quick jab and digging body shots while trying to force counter punching opportunities.
This is a brilliant match up between two aggressive and physical fighters who loathe to take a backwards step. Most of the time in match ups such as these, the fighter who is able to better maintain his usual status of the aggressor tends to win — think Paulo Costa vs. Marvin Vettori, for a recent example.
Burgos is the sharper boxer, which snappier punches, slicker counters, and better diversity of strikes. If push comes to shove in the pocket, Burgos is more likely to land the clean blows, and he’s durable as all hell to boot. That’s a good recipe for forcing Quarantillo to back off, which feeds into Burgos’ success.
If there’s one major adjustment to be made, Burgos absolutely has to keep his head moving. He’s great at slipping inside a punch to land his own counter, but otherwise, he tends to step forward in a consistent rhythm that has been timed quite a bit. The man has a hell of a chin, but as the Barboza fight showed, trusting it endlessly isn’t the answer.
Key Wins: Gabriel Benitez (UFC Vegas 31), Spike Carlyle (UFC on ESPN 9), Kyle Nelson (UFC Vegas 10)
Key Losses: Gavin Tucker (UFC 256)
Keys to Victory: Quarantillo’s first four UFC bouts showed his talent, as “Billy Q” routinely overwhelmed his foes on the strength of his conditioning and grappling. That grinder skill set often hits a hard ceiling, but after his first UFC loss, Quarantillo returned far sharper than before to pick apart a skilled kickboxer in “Moggly” Benitez.
Despite a likely jiu-jitsu advantage, trying to wrestle Burgos to the canvas doesn’t seem like the best path. Burgos has yet to really struggle with an opponent’s wrestling, and Quarantillo doesn’t appear to the type of next-level wrestler who can really upset that trend.
Failing takedowns and getting punched in the liver afterward is a recipe for a rough night.
Based on his last win, however, Quarantillo has a better shot at out-slicking Burgos. Between the two, Quarantillo is the superior kicker. At distance, he should be looking to utilize his low kicks to off-balance Burgos and make him a bit more hesitant on his lead food. Then, whenever Quarantillo can convince Burgos to retreat from his punches, following up with a heavy kick would be wise.
The more Quarantillo can frustrate and damage Burgos, the more likely it is that the boxer chases his way into a heavy punch.
This fight will be a ton of fun.
Burgos has lost two in a row, and he’s barely hanging onto his ranking at No. 14 as a result. Now, he’s back in the cage with an ultra tough up-and-comer, a difficult challenge that doesn’t really advance him up the ladder. Instead, victory confirms that Burgos is still a contender, and perhaps it allows him to look up the rankings next time out.
Quarantillo’s stellar “Fight of the Night” win over Benitez earned him this match up, a step up in both profile and competition. If he can continue in similar style with a win here, Quarantillo can expect more major opportunities to come, as well as a quick jump up the ranks.
At UFC 268, Shane Burgos and Billy Quarantillo will throw down. Which Featherweight will earn the victory?
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 268 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPNEWS/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
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