Last year, Shane Burgos took MMA headlines by storm when he announced he was signing with the PFL. The Tiger Schulmann’s product is an exciting striker, with momentum and popularity carrying over to the PFL. After original plans for his debut against Marlon Moraes that year fell through due to injury, Burgos made his PFL debut in April, losing a decision to defending PFL Lightweight World Champion Olivier Aubin-Mercier.
A former Shooto lightweight champion, Yamato Nishikawa is a proven finisher, with 18 of his 21 career victories ending before the final bell — 14 of them by knockout. The 20-year-old was on a 14-fight win streak before that was snapped in his PFL debut in April, dropping a unanimous decision to Clay Collard.
Both men need a victory in this fight to remain in the PFL lightweight playoff picture, with a first-round finish guaranteeing either a berth.
Nishikawa looks to work the leg and body to start things off. The two clash in an exchange. A round kick to the leg by Nishikawa, which is followed by a one-two. Burgos looks to come forward, but Nishikawa frees a small flurry. Nishikawa with a right hand and another low kick. A front kick by Nishikawa, and Burgos answers with a low kick. Burgos comes inside and scores a takedown. Nishikawa tries to land on the side of the head from bottom, keeping busy. Burgos fires off some left hands to the head while in Nishikawa’s guard.
Burgos lands a couple of shots from up top. Burgos lands to the side, Nishikawa lands to the head. The two continue to exchange before Burgos loosens Nishikawa’s guard a bit with hammerfists. With about a minute left, Burgos attempts to posture up and rain down some blows. Nishikawa, however, manages to get Burgos back in the guard each time. Burgos fires down a small flurry in the closing seconds of the round, but he doesn’t get the finish here.
A low kick and combination from Nishikawa to start, but Burgos quickly gets a body lock and slams him down. Burgos on top in half-guard. Nishikawa again looks to work from the bottom. Burgos landed several left hands to the head. The positioning shifts and Burgos fires some right hands as he looks to get to side control.
Burgos postures up and fires down some shots upstairs, but Nishkawa blocking well. Burgos lands to the body, but Nishikawa holds steady. Nishikawa attempts an armbar, but it’s quickly brushed aside. Burgos continues to target Nishikawa’s body on the ground. Burgos continues to fire, but Nishikawa’s guard is keeping him from posturing like he should.
A small flurry from both men to start things off. A high kick from Nishikawa. Burgos makes Nishikawa eat a solid right. Burgos presses Nishikawa against the SmartCage, taking him down with another body lock. Burgos lands several shots in side control before Nishikawa is able to lock him up in half-guard. Nishikawa brings himself right up against the cage but can’t get as busy as he did in previous rounds. Burgos landing to Nishikawa’s sides.
Burgos fires off a few left hands to the head of Nishikawa. He follows that with a few right hands to the body. Nishikawa tries to aim for Burgos’s head, but Burgos lands the cleaner punches. Burgos is on top and has Nishikawa pinned against the cage. Burgos tries to posture up but he quickly finds himself back in Nishikawa’s guard. Another attempt sees Nishikawa land a hard left hand. Burgos continues to land on the body, but it’s doing nothing. He fires off some more shots en route to the final bell.
Shane Burgos defeats Yamato Nishikawa by unanimous decision (30-26 x3) earning 3 points in the PFL Lightweight Division