Featherweight is the one weight class in the UFC where you could pick pretty much any 2 guys in the top 10 and have a great fight. This fight is no different. In the co-main event, we have the Team Alpha Male wrestler Josh Emmett and the up and comer Shane Burgos. Burgos has burst onto the scenes with impressive victories over the likes of Cub Swanson and Makwan Amirkhani. Emmett is his biggest test to date. Emmett is currently coming off of 2 TKO victories over Michael Johnson and Misrad Bektić.
The adopted Californian has been a fan favorite since coming to the UFC for his fan-friendly consistent highlight reel KO’s. With a fantastic wrestling base and a BJJ world champion at Blue belt level, there is more to Emmett than his overhand right. He’s got fantastic takedowns, with his single leg takedown being one of the best in the whole UFC. Along with very good grappling, Emmett has very crisp boxing with his right hook being frighteningly powerful. Emmett has, in the words of Joe Rogan, sent his last 2 opponents Astral Traveling. He has the one-shot K.O power than is often seen from wrestlers at the higher weight classes. The main weapon for Emmett, as mentioned is the equalizer of a right hand. Wherever the fight is going, he has that one shot that can change the fight. For that reason, the fans are forever at the end of their seat whilst watching Emmett.
Hurricane Shane Burgos, #10 ranked featherweight from the Bronx, New York, has stormed through the UFC featherweight division. However, with the exception of another up and comer being his only loss so far, Calvin Kattar. Kattar has been the one man so far able to stand with Burgos. Hurricane Shane has the reach in most featherweights and uses it very well. He can keep his opponents at the end of his jab, as well as consistently switching from orthodox to southpaw. Kattar exposed the lack of head movement in Burgos but its something that has improved drastically since. Since the Kattar fight, we have seen high kicks be more of a weapon in Burgos arsenal. Whilst not being a kicker per-say, he has developed his striking game to be as versatile and impressive as anybody at 145lb.
As well as mixing it up well and going to the body beautifully. It’s the conditioning and cardio that is Burgos’ biggest weapon. He’s a suffocating pressure fighter with good power to match.
Keys to victory
For Burgos to win, he will need to avoid Emmett’s right hand and keep the fight on the feet. Fight a point fight from distance and work the body to tire Emmett down, and maybe look for a finish in the later rounds.
For Emmett, he needs to get into range and land that right hand. He needs to try to mix up the takedowns and keep Burgos thinking about it, whilst avoiding Burgos’ tricky submissions off of his back. If he takes him down then the TAM representative will most likely have the advantage and land crushing ground and pound.
I think Burgos will overwhelm Emmett with his constant pressure and working the body. However, he needs to avoid being taken down and controlled, as well as avoiding that signature right hand.
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