Shane Burgos knew he wanted to be a professional MMA fighter the minute he first watched Season 2 of The Ultimate Fighter. Nine years later that dream has turned into a stunning reality, not only for him, but for a series of opponents he has left in his wake.
On Saturday night the young Highland Mills, New Yorker proved he can grapple or kickbox with anyone in the world. Training at Team Tiger Schulmann has given Burgos elite skills in every aspect of the MMA game. At only 23 years old he is a growing force in Mixed Martial Arts.
William Algeo was the latest victim of Burgos’ tremendous 5-0 start as a professional mixed martial artist. In fact Algeo won a small victory, becoming only the second of Burgos’ opponents to make it out of the first round. Algeo may actually have won the first round, but that didn’t stop Burgos from stopping his much ballyhooed opponent quickly in the second.
Fight prognosticators had the 25 year Algeo as a heavy favorite over Burgos with more than 72% of those polled picking him to win, the overwhelming majority of those calling it by submission. Ultimately it was the minority who had it right.
The fight started with Burgos displaying his standup skill. He dazed Algeo with a clean left hook that left the older fighter looking to take the fight to the ground. Burgos was at one time the highest ranked teen grappler in the country, but it was Algeo, a force on the submission grappling circuit, who was thought to have the better ground skills.
Burgos was able to avoid the takedowns early in Round 1 and continued to throw straight punches that effectively held off Algeo. After numerous failed takedowns he finally succeeded in getting Burgos to the mat late in round one. And for the first time in his fight career Burgos found himself mounted. The young Tiger Schulmann’s fighter used the cage to roll out of the mount, but the smooth grappling Algeo countered by throwing an armbar in the transition.
It wasn’t near enough to catch Burgos though. His years of NAGA victories kicked in and he smoothly stacked Algeo, keeping his arms locked and folding the bottom fighter before he felt the necessary space to escape from danger.
Still the near submission may have been enough to win the round for the older fighter. Like a true champion Burgos responded to the adversity.
Algeo came out for round 2 once again looking for the takedown, but Burgos cracked him with punishing shots right from the opening bell. Eventually Algeo was forced in to a desperate takedown attempt which Burgos used to secure his own double underhooks. The Tiger Schulmann’s Vails Gate instructor would use those underhooks to take Algeo to the mat. The Pennsylvania fighter turned to his knees immediately in an attempt to get back up, but Burgos immediately spun to back mount and was able to secure his hooks before Algeo could even begin to defend.
The submission fighter is known for securing a body triangle from backmount and submitting his opponents with a rear naked choke. This time though he was on the wrong side of the equation. It was Burgos who was able to secure the body lock while Algeo tried to scramble up the cage. Eventually the two hit the mat where Burgos wrapped a short choke, going with a palm to palm grip instead of a traditional rear naked choke.
Algeo showed his toughness by keeping his chin tucked and waving off the referee, but Burgos’ squeeze was so strong that just a second after waving to the ref, Algeo passed out. Burgos ran his record to 5-0 at 2:36 of the second round. Stunningly it is the longest fight of his professional career as the Featherweight has finished all five of his fights, four by submission and three of those by rear naked choke.
Burgos has finished many of his fights by submission, but in every instance it was his kickboxing dominance that setup his submissions. That Kickboxing talent is a true testament to the system put in place by Burgos’ instructor, Tiger Schulmann. Even as Burgos was wrapping up NAGA titles like most high school kids wrap up school dances, Schulmann refused to promote him to Black Belt and would not let him compete in MMA. Instead he made Burgos spend years concentrating on his weaker area.
That discipline on the part of Schulmann could have made a lesser man leave the organization and seek out a fight school with less strict standards. Burgos showed exactly what type of person he is by embracing the disciplined structure of Tiger Schulmann’s and putting in the time to bring his Kickboxing skill to the same elite level he had attained grappling.
The fruits of that labor have been on display five times now and we expect nothing less than the same continued success in Burgos’ career going forward. Congratulations to Shane Burgos on another impressive win and more importantly on setting the example of hard work and discipline that TSMMA has been built on.
By: Sensei Thad Campbell