No. 14-ranked Featherweight contender, Shane Burgos, was looking to rebound from an alarming knockout loss in his most recent bout at the expense of surging 145-pound prospect, Billy Quarantillo, at UFC 268, which took place tonight (Sat., Nov. 6, 2021) inside Madison Square Garden in New York, New York.
The Gaethje vs. Chandler instant classic was a tough act to follow, but nevertheless, fireworks were once again on the pay-per-view (PPV) menu headed into this showdown, and when the entree was finally served on ESPN+, it fit the bill. And then some, with Burgos earning a hard-fought unanimous decision after 15 minutes of exciting action.
Burgos came out with the early pressure, with Quarantillo firing off his back foot and then pushing him back with a series of non-stop uppercuts. Low kick from Burgos, with Quarantillo doing work upstairs with a short elbow and some nice short shots. Burgos ties him up against the cage, hitting some foot stomps and knees to the mid-section. Quarantillo was able to circle out and potshot Burgos, whose face was starting to show signs of damage. Burgos with another hard low kick that didn’t seem to slow down Quarantillo. Burgos was finding a home for a crisp jab, with Quarantillo firing back the same. Quarantillo missed with a right hook and Burgos scored with a nice right counter. Solid jab from Quarantillo is giving Burgos problems early. Quarantillo mixed in a takedown attempt that didn’t work, with Burgos turning him around into the fence. Both fighters went back to work with the jab, with Burgos dropping Quarantillo with a hard right hand! He got right back to his feet, though, and went right back to work jabbing Burgos’ face into ground beef.
Burgos raced out of his corner for the second round and landed a hard low kick. Quarantillo responded with a tight combination upstairs, while Burgos found a home for a standing elbow to the chin. Nice jab from Burgos, then an inside low kick, then another that took Quarantillo off his feet. He kept moving forward nonetheless, with the pair eventually tied up along the fence. They made their way back to the center of the Octagon, with Burgos now pumping the incessant jab. Quarantillo landed a hard shovel hook, with Burgos fending him off with a teep down the middle. Burgos began to work upstairs and downstairs, breaking down Quarantillo as best he can. Quarantillo kept plodding forward, though, like some sort of zombie. The low kicks from Burgos appeared to setting in, with Quarantillo going for broke, but Burgos countering and getting the better of the exchanges. With 30 seconds remaining, Burgos began to light him up and it appeared that Quarantillo could be out on his feet. He was able to survive and see the third and final frame.
Quarantillo is tough as nails, with Burgos’ corner instructing him to work in the clinch, seemingly thinking their fighter is up on the scorecards. Nevertheless, the two kept trading, with the action stopped briefly for an accidental eye poke. Burgos landed another hard inside kick and Quarantillo just fell over. He somehow got back to his feet and was able to drag Burgos down to the mat, but he got right back to his feet. Back to their feet and the two continued to trade shots, with Burgos landing a nice knee to the face along the fence. The frenetic action slowed midway through the round, with Quarantillo swinging haymakers hoping to get him out of there with one shot. They tied up along the fence, then broke free and started going at it again. Quarantillo was able to get behind Burgos, angling for a takedown and he got it. He went for a leg lock and Burgos quickly stepped out and raced away. Quarantillo with another hard shot to the body, but both fighters were clearly shot at this point. Burgos landed a few hard short shots along the fence down the stretch, securing the unanimous decision win.
What another great fight. And what a rebound for Burgos, who came back from a brutal knockout to win a brutal back-and-forth battle against an opponent who simply would not stop moving forward. And on any other Saturday night without Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Chandler, it very well could have earned “Fight of the Night.”
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