2023 PFL 3: Olivier Aubin-Mercier Spoils Debut of Shane Burgos, Cruises to Decision Win

Shane Burgos and Olivier Aubin-Mercier, 2023 PFL 3
Shane Burgos and Olivier Aubin-Mercier, 2023 PFL 3 Las Vegas at the The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada, Friday, April 14, 2023. (Cooper Neill / PFL)

Capping off the main card (which aired early Friday, followed by a selection of “postliminary” bouts) at PFL 3, returning lightweight champion Olivier Aubin-Mercier welcomed Shane Burgos to the PFL.

OAM was also welcoming Burgos to lightweight, as “Hurricane” Shane was moving up from 145lbs, where he fought in the UFC, due to the short turnaround between fights in the PFL.

Burgos opened Friday’s showdown with OAM firing a couple of leg kicks. The pair would exchange, with Canada’s Aubin-Mercier staying right in the face of Burgos. The PFL newcomer would go back to those leg kicks; Aubin-Mercier would fire a couple of his own. The champ then landed a kick to the body with a thud. Burgos flashed a front kick that was blocked, and he seemed to be finding his rhythm, though an Aubin-Mercier uppercut landed, knocking out Burgos’ mouthpiece.

Perhaps the biggest surprise through the opening round was the lack of a takedown, or even an attempt, from Olivier Aubin-Mercier. Instead, he opted to stand and trade with Burgos, leading to a closer round than many would expect in a stand-up fight with Burgos.

Round two saw the stand-up fight continue, a couple of exchanges early on seeing OAM working his jab and uppercut. He added a knee, and the pair each landed to the body. Two minutes in, Aubin-Mercier drove into a takedown, going from double leg to single leg attempt, finally dumping Burgos who got right back to one knee. OAM fired knees that mainly hit the thigh and backside of Burgos, then got a hook in, followed by another. As Burgos stood up, Aubin-Mercier locked up a body triangle, riding Burgos like a backpack.

Burgos, for his part, tied up the wrists of OAM, and eventually the Canadian slipped off. But the champ swept the leg of Burgos, putting him on the ground again. Thanks to the control time, takedowns, and grappling, Aubin-Mercier headed to the third tied at worse, if not up two rounds.

“The Canadian Gangster” picked up where he left off in round three, looking for a takedown and tying Burgos up. By the midway mark of the round, it was still OAM in pursuit of the takedown, winning the grappling battle along the fence. He threatened to take the back again, while Burgos struggled to find space and peel the champ off of him. Eventually Aubin-Mercier did climb the back, while Burgos tried to shake him off. A clearly frustrated Burgos seemed to look to the ref for help, though that would come. What would come was a final onslaught by Burgos, who in the dying seconds of the fight freed himself from the champion’s clutches, and unloaded the sort of violent flurry fans had expected throughout the fight.

Burgos would bloody Aubin-Mercier, who was forced to cover up. But there simply wasn’t enough time left for Burgos to turn the tide.

Official Result: Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. Shane Burgos by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)