Main event time already! Reigning PFL 2022 Lightweight World Champion Olivier Aubin-Mercier takes on Shane Burgos in Burgos’ PFL debut. Burgos, perhaps the biggest ever PFL free agent acquisition, enters the PFL regular season having won nine of his last twelve fights. OAM is now 6-0 in the PFL and looks to continue his winning ways and add Burgos to an impressive resume that now includes two former PFL World Champions. The winner tonight takes their first step towards a 2023 PFL World Championship, so let’s get to it.
The long awaited PFL debut of Shane Burgos is underway as he and OAM feel each other out in the SmartCage. Both men are using their respective jab to find the range early. OAM lands a nice one-two followed by a teep to the body and an inside low kick as Burgos seems to still be settling in.
Right on cue Burgos lands a nice right hand over the top and then goes to the body with it as OAM returns fire with another heavy low kick. OAM lands a heavy kick to the body of Burgos who seems to be hunting big shots early as OAM lands the same check hook that won him $1 million against Stevie Ray last season.
Burgos finally lands a big shot, lunging in with an overhand left but OAM lands a nice uppercut on the reset, knocking out the mouthpiece of Burgos. OAM is doing a great job of fighting behind his jab and keeping Burgos and his power at bay. OAM lands another strong body kick and Burgos returns fire with a low kick before they reset. OAM is keeping the pace up and landing a lot of low kicks and jabs as Burgos lands a heavy outside leg kick of his own.
OAM lands a nice straight right to the body before landing a nice one-two and Burgos seems to be finding OAM’s timing now, slipping and rolling with punches coming in and generally being more difficult for OAM to hit as the round winds down, as Burgos lands a big right.
The 10 second clapper hits and Burgos blitzes behind a big right hand. Both fighters will exchange low kicks and miss on some big punches as a competitive opening round comes to a close.
The second round begins and again OAM is fighting behind that jab and getting in and out of range before Burgos can touch him. OAM lands a nice lead uppercut as Burgos is really committing to the lead low kick now. Burgos shows off some more fancy head movement and lands a heavy uppercut combination after slipping a straight from OAM.
Burgos seems to have turned up the pressure and volume in this second round after figuring out OAM’s timing a bit but OAM is still mounting plenty of offense of his own landing a nice overhand left. OAM again goes to that million dollar check hook before changing levels and shooting a double leg. Burgos defends very well and OAM switches to a high single leg but Burgos is still defending well, using head pressure to stay up before OAM sweeps him off his feet!
Burgos pops right back up though and doesn’t allow OAM to control him but OAM is doing a good job of just wearing on Burgos and making him carry his weight while OAM peppers in short knees to the body and thighs of Burgos. As Burgos looks to get all the way back to his feet OAM takes the back and secures the body triangle with just under two minutes to work in the round.
OAM knows he has Burgos in danger here but also seems content to just make Burgos carry his weight and disrupt his breathing with the body triangle as Burgos breaks the body triangle and shakes OAM off. OAM is relentless with his wrestling pressure however and lands an outside trip to take Burgos down once again. Burgos gets back to his feet and lands a nice knee as the round comes to a close.
All of a sudden, Burgos finds himself in need of a finish if he wants his PFL debut to be a successful one!
Our final round is underway and Burgos more than likely needs a finish to win. OAM wastes no time shooting a takedown after all the success in the previous round and gets Burgos to the mat but only briefly as Burgos pops back up to his feet. OAM is staying glued to him though, wearing on him along the fence before running the pipe on a single and getting the fight to the ground once more.
With only three minutes remaining we need to see some urgency from Burgos here as he fights the hands and attempts to work back to his feet while carrying OAM’s weight. Burgos gets back to his feet but again can’t keep it there as OAM secures another trip. Burgos gets back up once more but OAM takes his back and gets a hook in before Burgos gives his back fully and OAM once again hops up and secures the body lock.
The crowd is voicing their displeasure but the onus is on Burgos here to make something happen as that body triangle is a dominant and scoring position for OAM, who has ballooned to a -3000 favorite on the live gambling lines.
As we hit the final minute Burgos is clearly exasperated and is trying to talk to either the ref or OAM before finally shaking OAM off his back and landing a big knee to the head of OAM! Burgos has 10 seconds here and he unloads! Burgos lands and has OAM retreating and bleeding but it’s just too little too late as the final bell rings.
Olivier Aubin-Mercier spoils the PFL debut of Shane Burgos, Quebec is still back!
Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. Shane Burgos by Unanimous Decision (30-27 3x)