Anytime you step inside a cage against a reigning champion, you are presented with a big-time opportunity.
That is what stands before Shane Burgos this Friday night at PFL 3.
Burgos, a former UFC fighter who compiled a record of 8-3 while competing for the promotion, makes his PFL debut against 2022 lightweight champion Olivier Aubin-Mercier.
The bout will headline the early prelims and be part of the 2023 regular season.
For Burgos, this is a perfect opportunity to show why he was one of the hottest free agents in 2022. He left the UFC after back-to-back wins over Charles Jourdain and Billy Quarantillo, moving his career record to 15-3.
Burgos also bested the likes of Makwan Amirkhani, Cub Swanson, Kurt Holobaugh and Godofredo Pepey, while competing in four “Fight of the Nights” against Edson Barboza, Josh Emmett, Calvin Kattar and Charles Rosa.
Aubin-Mercier ran through the division last year, taking care of Stevie Ray, Alex Martinez, Raush Manfio and Natan Schulte. He is 17-5 overall and also spent a chunk of his career with the UFC, going 7-5 while reaching the finals of The Ultimate Fighter Nations series.
This ESPN and ESPN Networks event is the third and final one of the first half of the regular season. Along with lightweight action, welterweights will compete as they look to position themselves for the start of the second half.