Two of the UFC’s most exciting fighters will face off at UFC on ABC 3 in Shane Burgos and Charles Jourdain.
Burgos most recently snapped a two-fight losing skid with a massive back and forth victory of Billy Quarantillo. However, while Burgos is known for his wars, he has also demonstrated a sharp technical approach to his striking and KO power to boot, as evident in his TKO victory over Makwan Amirkani.
His opponent this weekend, Charles Jourdain, is likely the most exciting prospect currently coming out of Canada. Another electrifying striker, “Air” Jourdain put on back-to-back career-high performances the last times fans saw him enter the cage. With a striking clinic put on Andre Ewell and a first-round submission over Lando Vanata, it would seem there is no ceiling on the 26-year-old.
The Canadian will come in as the underdog against Burgos. Every dollar bet on Jourdain will return $1.72 should he succeed.
Shane Burgos is a dangerous, gritty fight for anyone. He has impressive power and sharp technical striking, and while his wrestling is no joke, he does much prefer to keep the fight standing. This is also exactly where Charles Jourdain wants to be, and although he is coming off of a submission victory, finishes like that are a product of what he is able to snatch onto once he has dazed or dropped his opponent with strikes.
Shane Burgos, for the most part, is primarily a boxer. He usually stands orthodox but will switch to land the inside left leg kick. When leading with his left, however, he utilizes an excellent jab and standout hooks, especially his sharp right to the head, and both sides to the body. This will often materialize in a deep 4-3 low. He is on the larger end of 145 pounds, and it shows in his movement. Not one to bounce around, Burgos typically likes to stalk forward in a short stance with a high guard and his chin tucked, even when stunned he isn’t one to take a step back. While this is extremely dangerous and has seen him suffer severe damage in fights, he has also come out on the winning end, able to land the heavier shots when trading. When he is on point with his rhyme, however, he does have great slips, utilizing minimal movement to get out of the way of punches.
What may be the most impressive thing about him however is his ability to evolve from his past failures. Most notably, when falling victim to Edson Barboza’s leg kicks during their fight, he would then come back in his next fight against BIlly Quarantillo and utilize those same kicks himself. The kick, in particular, is the outside low calf kick which he mixes up well on the end of his boxing combinations and chained together with a nice inside thigh kick from the left and good thrust front kick to stop his opponent’s momentum.
In terms of potential holes in his game, because he is on the heavier end of the spectrum and throws with power in every shot, he does not have the capacity to land with the same volume as some of his lighter counterparts. This is obviously a take and give concept, sometimes his power is enough to make up for the differential in pace but if he cannot it’s detrimental. When hurt once again he tends to remain driven to go forward, neglecting some opportunities to recover but most notably is he has consistently traded jabs due to keeping his head on the centerline. His jab is sharp, but more than many fighters it seems he is there to trade instead of slip and hit, if this habit is unchecked in camp it could be a potential opening for Jourdain to exploit should he time counter combinations off of Burgos’ jab.
On the side of Jourdain, we have a much more Muay Thai-based approach. He stands tall and short in his stance but keeps the lead leg, particularly light as he plods forward and uses a lot of teeps. He also throws with very sharp boxing once he gets his distance and timing down. However, compared to Burgos, Jourdain has had to overcome a bit of awkwardness early, usually the first few minutes of the fight before he really settles into the bout, and this has caused him to see losing efforts in round one. Once he does hit his stride though, he is a nasty adversary to see across the octagon.
He is constantly switching stance, and he fights equally well from either side. He has great low kicks and wicked long combinations from the arms, which he does wind up on but his accuracy and shot selection is so good coupled with his speed that it makes up for any sort of telegraph. He likes to lead with a leaping left hook rather than constantly jabbing, and he also has a nice and unique switch step left straight.
Largely the differences between the two men are this: Jourdain will be the smaller man in the cage for sure. Burgos’ physical presence will be evident early and it’s likely we will see him look like the more imposing and successful fighter in round one. Both men will definitely take significant damage, however, as neither tends to give up much ground. If Jourdain can survive and compete early, he is the one who usually gets better as the fight goes, although Burgos has been consistent. I think that largely the winner of this fight will be decided by which point in the fight Jourdain takes over, whether it comes a little too late or he starts to gain traction early in round two and secures the last two rounds. Either man can get a finish at any point with a number of strikes. The added bonus for Jourdain is that he has slicker submissions once he finds his opponents hurt, most significantly his guillotine.
Ultimately this is as competitive as a fight can get, but because I think either man has the potential to knock each other out I would give Jourdain the added benefit of the submission threat. He has also shown an ability to rally by round two and although Burgos may enjoy the size and power advantage, his affinity to always move forward may allow Jourdain to settle into his range earlier than those whom he found elusive.
Prediction: Charles Jourdain to win (+172 odds at MyBookie)
Braeden Arbour is an aspiring journalist out of Ontario, Canada. He is a recent graduate of Trent University, with a black belt in Karate and a blue belt in Judo. He has also been an avid fan of MMA for the last decade.