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‘I’m a prize fighter. That’s a prize.’ - Shane Burgos left UFC for ‘stupid amount of money’

The former top-ranked UFC featherweight surprised everyone with his recent jump to the PFL, but the money was too good to pass up.

Shane Burgos prepares for the start of his fight with Charles Jourdain at UFC Long Island.
Shane Burgos prepares for the start of his fight with Charles Jourdain at UFC Long Island.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Shane Burgos was never shy about testing free agency during his time with the UFC. Back in 2019, after a win over Makwan Amirkhani, ‘Hurricane’ hit the open market to field offers. At the time, however, despite the PFL’s willingness to open up their bank book, it seems Burgos just wasn’t ready to leave the world’s premiere MMA promotion.

The next time around it sounds like there was a lot more money on the table. Enough to overcome any misgivings Burgos may have had about making the switch from “UFC fighter” to “prize fighter.” In a recent interview with MMA Junkie, the 31-year-old Tiger Schulmann talent talked about his new contract with PFL, and the mindset change that came with it.

“I’m going to be making a stupid amount of money,” Burgos told MMA Junkie Radio. “The money was too good for me to pass up. I couldn’t say no to that money. I’ve got kids I’ve got to feed. The first time I did the free agency thing they gave me an offer, and it was a great offer the first time. In my head I was thinking, ‘I’m a UFC fighter.’ At the time I wasn’t a prize fighter. This time coming around, I’m a little bit older now. I’m 31 and I’m like, ‘I’m a prize fighter.’ That’s a prize.

“What I’m getting paid now. That’s a prize. Then on top of that you’ve got the million-dollar tournament, then on top of that you’ve got me doing the commentating gig, which is setting me up for when I’m done competing in the sport. It was a no-brainer when you laid out all the facts into a pros and cons chart.”

Dana White expressed his frustration with losing Burgos from the promotion’s roster shortly after news of the fighter’s PFL deal broke.

“Basically, there were some mistakes that were made here,” White admitted. “He should have still been here. We respect him very much, and I wish him the best.”

Burgos is currently set to make his debut with his new promotional home against former UFC bantamweight contender Marlon Moraes on November 25th at the PFL Championships card at the Hulu Theater in New York, NY. The event is expected to be headlined by a women’s lightweight trilogy bout between Kayla Harrison and Larissa Pacheco.