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Ryan Burgos' journey to join brother Shane on UFC roster begins Saturday at CFFC 108

Younger Burgos makes professional debut live on UFC Fight Pass from Parx Casino in Bensalem, Penn.
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Ryan Burgos says the decision to leave his amateur days behind in favor of becoming a professional fighter was an easy one to make. Sure, he's still just 20, but when a scheduled fight fell through in February, the Tiger Schulmann product knew he had no choice.

"I had a bunch of opponents for that fight," Burgos explained. "Then once the date did come, I had an opponent. I thought he was going to show up for sure – pulls out the day of weigh-ins. I take this too serious – I train too hard for opponents to be pulling out like that, so it was time to make the move to pro."

In truth, Burgos felt like he was ready to make the jump even before his February bout fell through, but he understood why his team wanted him to get a little bit more experience in the amateur ranks. But with opponents falling out on the regular, they all agreed there was only one way forward.

"My head instructor, he, of course, wanted me to do more, but it's always been a problem with opponents," Burgos explained. "Not once did I ever fight the guy I was supposed to fight, you know? So he understood – and I only train with pros. I don't train with any amateurs, and I've got great training partners and I get good rounds, so I think it was time."

The reason for Burgos troubles likely has something to do with his family line. Ryan is the younger brother of No. 14-ranked UFC featherweight "Hurricane" Shane Burgos, a connection he's proud to discuss.

"Everyone's like, oh, does it bother you? Like, do you think people think maybe that you're living in your brother's shadow?" Burgos explained. "I'm absolutely not. I'm going to run with that. I'm going to run with that until I get to the top. I'm going to feel like it's going to be the Burgos bros against the world, you know? It does not faze me at all."

Ryan was in his early teens as he watched his brother climb to the highest level of the sport, and he says it made him keenly aware of what it takes to reach that spot.

"I remember when he first made it to UFC, and now he's been in the UFC five-and-a-half years now," Burgos said. "It's still surreal, but it feels right, though, you know what I mean? I think that we both belong there."

Burgos (0-0) can take the first step towards joining his brother on the UFC roster this Saturday, when he faces fellow flyweight Ivan Rios (1-0) at CFFC 108, which streams live on UFC Fight Pass from Parx Casino in Bensalem, Penn.

Just days out from his first professional contest, Burgos said he's not feeling any different than he did ahead of his three amateur bouts, all of which he won via stoppage, with two submissions and a knockout.

"It really doesn't, to be honest," Burgos said. "I trained like I train for every fight. I just feel like I'm just going to go in there and do my job. It's a little different with the ruleset, of course, but I think the pro ruleset definitely benefits my style a lot more, actually, so I can't wait to get in there."

As a professional, Burgos will now have ground-and-pound shots to the head at his disposal, which aren't allowed at the amateur level, as well as some twisting leglocks that are banned for those just starting out. But there's one tool in particular he can't wait to unleash.

"Slice and dice, man," Burogs said. "Slice and dice with those elbows. I can't wait to throw those elbows."

Burgos' family connections will likely give him some big-show offers sooner in his career than some other prospects might receive, but he insists he's not trying to rush his way through his developmental path. While he's turning pro perhaps a little earlier than he initially expected, he realizes the value of experience before reaching MMA's pinnacle.

"I'm not in any rush," Burgos said. "I always wanted to be a young professional. I knew I'd be remotely young, but not 20 years old, but I'm just trying to get my feet wet here in the CFFC. I'm not in any rush to get to UFC, but I know I'll be there sooner than later."

So tune in Saturday to get your first look at the younger Burgos brother as he begins his journey to join Shane on the UFC roster. He thinks you might be a little surprised by what he brings to the cage, which he says differs quite a bit from big bro's game. But if all goes according to plan, there will soon be another Burgos being discussed frequently by MMA fans.

"The goal is always to go get the win, but I want to make it emphatic," Burgos said. "I want people to be like, 'Who is this kid?' That's exactly what I want, so I'm going to make sure I'm prepared to go out there and make a statement."

This story first published at CFFC.com.