Fatherhood and fighting

Shane Burgos poses at photo shoot prior to UFC debut on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2016. (Photo Credit: UFC).


For Shane “Hurricane” Burgos (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), the lead up to his second fight inside the octagon is less stressful than his debut.

The 26-year-old last fought at UFC Fight Night 102, defeating Tiago Trator via unanimous decision in his first fight while under the promotion’s banner on Dec. 9, 2016. The bout took place at the Times Union Center in Albany, New York, an hour and a half away from his residence in Monroe, New York.

Now, the undefeated fighter meets fellow featherweight Charles “Boston Strong” Rosa (11-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) at UFC 210 on the Fox Sorts 1 portion of the card April 8, 2017. Burgos fights in his home state again, this time at the KeyBank Arena in Buffalo, New York.

Since he fought four months ago, the UFC excused Burgos from photo shoots and other pre-fight obligations leading up to his contest with Rosa. In fact, he described fight week as “uneventful.”

“They are just reusing the photos from my last bout,” Burgos said “Which is really nice because I’ve been able to relax and focus on training and the weight cut.”

Although Burgos tries to stay relaxed a day before his scheduled bout, the two months leading up to the fight have been anything but mellow.

On Monday, February 27, 2017, Burgos’ daughter Avery was born. For the first time in his life, he is both a father and a fighter, learning to balance the two.

Fighting as a dad is not the only thing he will witness for the first time Saturday. Burgos never competed on a UFC pay-per-view card and it his first fight on live television.

Competitive in nature, Burgos hates losing in a game of rock, paper, scissors. Motivated by having his hand raised, the birth of his daughter offers another reason for him to be successful inside the cage.

“My daughter being here now gives me a whole new purpose in life,” Burgos said. “I don’t just want to win, I feel like I need to win in order to provide for my family.”

After a one-sided affair in UFC debut, “Hurricane” feels pressure to put on another impressive showing in his bout with Rosa. The transition between training and parenting is new for Burgos, but it is not complicated as it may seem.

Burgos said balancing both came easier than expected, thanks to his wife Veronica.

“She (Veronica) fully understands that I am in fight camp and made it as easy as she could possibly make it for me,” Burgos said “For having a newborn, it hasn’t been to hectic at all. My wife has really been amazing and that’s just even more motivation to win this fight.”

It is another reason for Burgos to win as he plans to use some of his winnings to take his wife on a vacation.

Since his time as a featherweight for Cage Fury Fighting Championships, Burgos is trying to ignore the outside pressures that come with being a mixed martial artist. Training with Burgos at Tiger Shulmann’s MMA is UFC bantamweight Jimmie Rivera.

Teammates for 10 plus years, Rivera sees a ‘determined’ Burgos at practice.

“He is super focused and ready to put on a beating,” Rivera said. “A MMA clinic.”

Burgos gained national attention in his octagon debut. Rather than his performance being the main discussion, fans and media focused on his hair. Between the second and third round of his fight with Trator, Burgos’ corner cut his pony tail.

With a new haircut leading up to his bout in Buffalo, Burgos wants people talking about his performance rather than his hair style.

“A lot of people wanted to talk about the haircut. I guess it’s a good thing because people have been talking about me a lot,” Burgos said. “I feel like a finish in this fight will open a lot of eyes. It won’t come easy and I expect a tough fight but I’m looking for that finish from the first bell to the last I can guarantee you that.”

Whether it is being a fighter, a father or having his hair cut during his UFC debut, Burgos embraces it all. After going (1-0) inside the octagon, Burgos said he feels the pressure now more than ever.

Burgos approaches the fight the same way he did before he became a father and before he signed with the UFC. He looks for a win for himself, his team and his family.

By Connor Northrup

Twitter: @njmmanews




Writing for NJ MMA New since 2011, Connor is passionate about covering local mixed martial arts. He graduated from Temple University’s School of Media and Communications with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. His love for MMA stems from his past as a high school wrestler and jiu-jitsu blue belt. Former UFC fighter Kurt Pellegrino coached Connor in his senior year of high school. He worked as a Rally Sports Desk report for The Philadelphia Inquirer and interned as a sports reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News.