UFC Uruguay: Gilbert Burns Says Doctor Played Key Role in Move to Welterweight
By FCF Staff
Gilbert Burns recently accepted a short notice bout with welterweight Alexey Kunchenko at UFC Uruguay on Saturday. But, it sounds like the veteran fighter’s future will be at welterweight rather than lightweight moving forward.
Burns, who was pulled from a card in 2018 due to concerns he couldn’t make 155 in a safe manner, recently spoke with Combate. While discussing his decision to face Kunchenko, as well as his weight class, the Brazilian said this (quotes via Bloody Elbow.com):
“It just clicked,” Burns said. “I was asking for fights and they wouldn’t give me one. Then my coach told me to keep my weight down in case an opportunity appeared. I was training, dieting, but my weight wouldn’t go down. I’ve always been a heavy, strong guy for my division, but it was getting worse and the last time was the worst one. I said: ‘if this doesn’t get better in three weeks, one month, it won’t work….’
“Last time I made weight, he (the doctor) didn’t like it at first,” Burns said. “He influenced me a lot to make the change, he talked to me a lot. He said it wasn’t healthy anymore and if I wanted to have a long career, I would have to move up. I’m getting heavier, older. I’m not a kid like before, when it was easier. I have more experience, I’m training with guys well over 155 pounds, guys from welterweight, and that gives me confidence. That was a confirmation. I only train with those guys and when I’d cut weight, it affected my performance because of the straining weight cut.”
The 33-year-old Burns (15-3) is coming off back-to-back wins over Mike Davis and Olivier Aubin-Mercier.