Preview: Josh Emmett vs Shane Burgos
By James Lee
The past month has seen the UFC showcase some of their most skilled talent, but most importantly, produce fights worthy of the recognition they endured.
As Justin Gaethje and Tony Ferguson ignited the sporting world, a bantamweight showcase at UFC 250 soon followed to warrant the risk of continuing during the pandemic.
However, Saturday’s co-main event could top them all. With several thrilling contests coming up, a fight between Josh Emmett and Shane Burgos is going under the radar but could take the shine from the entire event.
There is little dispute of the high-quality nature of the UFC’s featherweight division and this fight is the ideal showcase of that.
Shane Burgos, in particular, might be the most underrated in the division, being that his only career loss came to Calvin Kattar in a competitive contest that was awarded the fight of the night honour. Kattar is now recognised as one of the division’s best, making the loss over two years ago less relevant in the trajectory of Burgos’ path going forward.
Success since against Kurt Holobaugh, Cub Swanson and Makwan Amirkhani has reaffirmed the hype surrounding him before his promotional debut. The win over Amirkhani, in particular, was one that showcased his true potential. Not only did he overcome a tough challenger with a third-round finish, he did it whilst also showing resilience, grit and hostility.
His counterpart Josh Emmett has likewise proved he occupies those qualities on several occasions. His main weapon though is his power right hand. An equalizer that can potentially bail him out of any difficult circumstance. With Burgos’ high intensity, it could bode well for the Team Alpha Male fighter who may have a more extended opportunity to land a fight-ending blow.
However, aside from the excitement behind the contest, the massive stakes surrounding their contendership is similarly interesting but dangerous for both. The pair are ranked #8 and #10 respectively and with the plethora of talent ahead and surfacing talent behind them, there is little room for error. A loss for either will see their top ten spots vulnerable to the emerging talent, with the journey back to the top immeasurable.
Ultimately, as most prepare for the heavyweight headliner between Curtis Blaydes and Alexander Volkov, it can be predicted that the lasting memory of the event will be on the fight between Josh Emmett and Shane Burgos. Most importantly though, the contest has all the signs to be a memorable one for the fighter who has their hand raised after the possible fifteen minutes of action.