The kid from the Bronx who fights out of Monroe did not disappoint the Elmont crowd as the lone New Yorker on the UFC Long Island fight card.
Shane Burgos grappled early and withstood a late onslaught from Charles Jourdain to win their featherweight bout by majority decision, 29-28, 29-28, 28-28, at UBS Arena on Saturday.
“That was the best crowd, that was wild,” Burgos said of the 16,979 fans. “When they said my name and then every time I would go for the choke and get it on his neck, the crowd would go crazy. That would get me even more pumped up.”
In each of the first two rounds, Burgos used a body triangle to control Jourdain (13-5-1) and work for submissions. Jourdain fended them off but could not get free of Burgos’ grappling. In the third round, however, Jourdain unleashed his striking skills and landed 115 of his 161 total strikes.
“Standing up off the stool,” Burgos said of the pain in his legs before the third round, “this is just going to be mental toughness and grit for these next five minutes.”
Burgos (15-3, 8-3 UFC), on the last fight on his contract, has fought in seven of the 14 UFC events since the state legalized MMA in 2016, and he has won all seven.
"That’s a pretty cool stat,” Burgos said.
Tate falls in return
Her face bloodied and swollen, Miesha Tate the fighter gave way to Miesha Tate the mother as she walked away from the octagon. A unanimous-decision defeat by Lauren Murphy behind her, Tate stopped the blow kisses to her young children watching her fight live for the first time.
Tate (19-9), making her flyweight debut in her third fight back after a five-year retirement, was the recipient of face punches and takedowns for three rounds by Lauren Murphy. Tate actually outstruck Murphy, 111-110, but it was Murphy who did more damage, opening a cut under Tate’s left eye that swelled to the size of a meatball in the second round.
Murphy (16-5) bounced back since a decisive loss to champion Valentina Shevchenko last September. "I'm not done until I say I'm done, and I'm not done,” Murphy said. “I'm going to be the champion."
Easy as ABC
UFC Long Island was the third event shown on ABC, which, like its usual broadcast partner ESPN, is owned by Disney. “We definitely see a pop there when it comes to total viewers and we feel like it's a great exposure opportunity for us,” UFC CEO Lawrence Epstein told Newsday. “It's also an opportunity to give back in the sense that this is a true free event where everybody can watch.”
The 11 a.m. start for the prelims and 2 p.m. start for the main card on a summer Saturday could not keep the crowd away from UBS Arena. The event drew $2.11 million and was a sellout, the 19th straight for the UFC since it began traveling more frequently in April 2021 still amid the coronavirus pandemic. Elmont was the 10th city to host a UFC event thus far in 2022, compared with six last year.
"We've just seen this significant uptick in our U.S. but also our global fan base, you know, sort of since the pandemic,” Epstein said. “This continues to be a dividend, in part, of our ability to get up and running faster than everybody during the COVID era. . . The sellout streak is one of the manifestations of that success.”
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