The Ultimate Fighter Spawns Passion For MMA
Most people credit the humongous popularity growth in MMA to Season 1 of The Ultimate Fighter reality show. The finale between Stephan Bonner and Forrest Griffin is still one of the top two or three fights ever and helped launch the UFC to world wide fame.
Shane Burgos missed that season. It was six months later when Season 2 started the then Freshman from Highland Mills developed his passion for MMA. Spurred on by the show, he walked in to Tiger Schulmann’s MMA in Harriman to take advantage of their one month offer.
“I was instantly hooked from the first episode. After taking my first class with Sensei Montes at Tiger Schulmann’s, I felt the same I did after watching the show, I was hooked.”
Burgos was so passionate about training he took rare advantage of a special Tiger Schulmann’s was running at the time.
“The deal back then was a free month of unlimited classes for 100 bucks and I took full advantage of that. I didn’t miss one day for the whole month, 6 days a week I was there!”
Highland Mills Teenager Excels In Grappling
Not much has slowed down since those early days of training. Burgos almost immediately began to show rare talent for grappling and traveled around the country competing in NAGA tournaments. He began winning the teen divisions consistently and at one point was the number one ranked grappler in the country in his age group.
He became well known throughout Tiger Schulmann’s for his insane ability to pull submission attempts out of strange places, often catching much more experienced grappler’s because of the uniqueness of his style.
Burgos Evolves Into Complete Mixed Martial Artist
Burgos credits Sensei Montes for helping him develop into the disciplined Martial Artist he is today. He still helps Montes teach classes at TSMMA, now down the street a few blocks in Vails Gate. He will forever be attached to the school and now his two brothers are both Black Belts as well.
Burgos’ own discipline was challenged in his own journey to Black Belt. It’s a challenge he passed with flying colors. Burgos began training with the TSMMA fight team and became a direct student of Shihan Tiger Schulmann. Perhaps recognizing Burgos’ immense potential, Shihan would not let him pass his Black Belt test without bringing his Kickboxing to same incredible level of his Grappling.
That’s exactly what Burgos did. He applied the lessons of discipline his instructor taught him, working on his weaknesses just as hard as on his strengths. That success was played out in his amateur kickboxing career. He won both of his fights, the first one after knocking is opponent down three times in the very first round.
His hard work paid dividends as he was ultimately promoted to Black Belt in March of 2013 by Tiger Schulmann himself, the first person to receive that honor and one of only two to this day.
Top Training Key to Success
Burgos now travels almost daily to Elmwood Park, New Jersey to train with the other members of the Tiger Schulmann’s fight team. Any given day he will train with professional fighters like Louis Gaudinot and Nick Pace. The extreme level of competition has only helped him hone his skills.
“I love my team! We’ve got excellent fighters from amateur to pro! Anytime I train at hq I know I’m gonna get top level work in. Without my team mates there to help me get better day in and day out I would be nothing. They’re a huge part of my success.”
Burgos’ family also plays a big role in his MMA career. They’ve always supported his dreams of fighting. Not only do his brothers attend all his fights but his parents are always there for him as well.
“They all support me so much and have no idea how much it means to me!”
Burgos also credits his girlfriend for helping him stay grounded. At 22 years old he lives a pretty solitary lifestyle and feels she helps him stay that way. While many of his young friends are out partying late into the night, he his home getting his rest ready for the next great training session. He knows the lifestyle it’s going to take to help him achieve his ultimate dreams.
Martial Artist Has Big Goals
Scan through Burgos’ Facebook photos and you’ll see him with many of the top fighters in the UFC. Burgos is not a star struck fan, instead he is an MMA student motivated to reach those lofty levels himself!
Along with his two wins in Kickboxing he has also amassed seven victories in MMA as an amateur. His record has no losses with the only blemish a no contest in the first of his four championship fights. He would win the next three, all by stoppage. One via strikes and two by submission.
That led to the first of many goals Burgos set for himself in MMA. He made his professional debut in Philadelphia in July of 2013 at Xtreme Caged Combat against Ratioender Melo. The fight lasted 2:14 before Burgos applied a Rear Naked Choke. Two months later and Burgos was at it again. This time fighting for two more seconds before finishing Ashure Elbanna via strikes at 2:16 of the first round.
Burgos almost seemed to be embracing the new found balance of Kickboxing and Grappling acumen. His last four fights have been split evenly between finishes via striking and submission.
Now he is set to fight in Atlantic City. Burgos will take on Myron Baker on Saturday night at CFFC 31. CFFC is most famous for it’s hosting of Kimbo Slice’s professional MMA debut. Slice went on to gain fame on the same Ultimate Fighter reality show that birthed Burgos’ love of the sport. The Miami backyard brawler never made a dent in the pro ranks. That’s far from the goal Burgos’ has in mind.
“I will not be satisfied unless I make it to the UFC and make sure everyone knows my name!”
When asked what he would do after his MMA career was over Burgos had a very quick response, “After fighting isn’t even a thought honestly, I feel like I’m really young and have so much fight left in me.”
If his future goes anything like what he’s done so far Burgos will have plenty of time to make plans for after his fighting career is done.