Olivier Aubin-Mercier, the 2022 lightweight champion of the PFL, recently defeated fellow former UFC fighter Shane Burgos in the main event of PFL 3. This victory marked Aubin-Mercier’s seventh consecutive win. Aubin-Mercier discussed his unexpected win against Burgos and referred to the assumption that the PFL would’ve made a mistake booking him as Burgos’ opponent in Burgos’ debut.
Aubin-Mercier believed that the PFL intended to make a path for Burgos, as they did for former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis previously, but failed. Aubin-Mercier indicated that the PFL tends to put new signings of the PFL against former UFC fighters, as they did with Brendan Loughnane and Rob Wilkinson, which did not play out.
Aubin-Mercier was pleased to be the underdog in the fight against Burgos as he enjoyed playing the spoiler. He stated that although Burgos is a bigger name than he is, he understands why Burgos received more promotional attention in the lead-up to their fight. Aubin-Mercier was unfazed by his lack of promotion and felt that it was sweet to have a win over Burgos.
Aubin-Mercier, a former welterweight, dominated Burgos in both the striking and grappling departments. When asked if he felt that Burgos made a mistake moving up to lightweight, Aubin-Mercier believed that it might take Burgos some time to adjust.
Aubin-Mercier credited his success to maturity and the opportunity to focus on growth and development instead of consistently throwing himself into fight camps. During his run with the UFC, Aubin-Mercier had a 7-5 record, with his last three appearances for the promotion resulting in decision losses. Since joining the PFL in 2021, Aubin-Mercier has yet to lose a fight and sees himself as a challenging opponent for anyone in his division.
Aubin-Mercier believes that he is more confident, is more of a tactician, and has addressed the problems with his fight IQ. During COVID, Aubin-Mercier had the chance to study a lot of fights, and he feels that he has had enough time to understand his strengths and weaknesses.