This is the UFC on ESPN 11 live blog for Shane Burgos vs. Josh Emmett, the featherweight co-headliner for Saturday’s fight card at UFC APEX in Las Vegas.
Emmett has stopped his previous two opponents via knockout. Burgos, meanwhile, is riding a three-fight winning streak.
Round 1: They instantly start trading, and Emmett appears to step funny and clutch his leg. He continues to fire, however, and catches Burgos with a series of hard punches. Burgos unfazed and continues to move forward, pressuring Emmett. As Emmett continues to fire, it’s clear something is amiss with his leg, as he’s having a hard time planting. Burgos begins to target the calf, taking Emmett’s balance on several occasions. Emmett manages to recover and begins to land more heavy punches downstairs and upstairs. Burgos willing to eat several to land his counters, and he continues to pepper Emmett’s lead leg with punches. Emmett is increasingly finding it difficult to plant. As time runs short, Emmett goes for the takedown and fires a few more bombs when Burgos shucks off the attempt.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Emmett.
Round 2: Emmett comes out with that big right hand again. Burgos resumes pressuring his opponent and works a jab at range. Now, he’s targeting that lead leg, and Emmett’s lead leg is getting swept. It’s not keeping Emmett from uncorking his massive punches. Burgos, though, has been able to eat them all and keep coming. More leg kicks, and Emmett is forced to back off. Still a firefight on the inside with both fighters landing heavy shots. Burgos’ mouthpiece goes flying, and we pause. Emmett loading up his shots, while Burgos is staying tight and keeping his guard up, sticking counters as Emmett bites on his approach. Leg kicks a persistent problem for Emmett, who’s getting caught at the end of Burgos’ punches. Still, he manages to fight inside and land heavy shots that might knockout other foes. As the round comes to and end, both fighters start to brawl a little more, throwing with abandon as time runs out.
MMA Fighting scores the second round for Burgos, 10-9, and it’s even at 19-19.
Round 3: Burgos pressing the jab again and trying to get out of the way of Emmett’s huge left hand. Stance switch from Emmett, who’s trying to find a way around his injury. Then out of nowhere, Emmett’s left hand puts Burgos on the canvas. Burgos smiles on the way down. Emmett works some ground and pound, and Burgos hangs on and appears to be recovered, though his mouth is a bloody mess. Emmett beats the body and gets out of the way on the counter, but he takes a groin kick on the next exchange and we pause. Emmett in a bad way, pacing back and forth. On the restart, Emmett again tags Burgos with his huge right hand, and it’s still not enough to deter Burgos, who continues to get inside and box. Then a left hook floors Burgos. This time, he’s much more hurt, and Emmett pounces for the finish. Elbows and punches tag Burgos, but he’s able to survive and kick Emmett off. Burgos continues to pursue and mix it up with Emmett. He’s got more variety in attacks, and it now appears like his pressure is paying off. Emmett takes an uppercut and starts to backpedal. But again, Emmett finds Burgos’ jaw with a trio of huge punches. Insane that Burgos is still moving forward and conscious. They trade one last time at the edge of the cage, and Burgos sneaks in a nice right hand to cap off a “Fight of the Night” effort.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Emmett, who gets the 29-28 win.
Official result: Josh Emmett def. Shane Burgos via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)