But getting there took a few things. First, it took the frustration of a scrapped UFC on FOX 28 meeting with Olivier Aubin-Mercier and the extended camp that it meant for Burns (13-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) to make it to UFC on FOX 29. And then, once that was done, it took getting through “a hell of a cut” the day before his meeting with Moret (13-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC).
Following the preliminary-card bout, which streamed live on UFC Fight Pass from Gila River Arena in Glendale, Ariz., Burns recounted the events that led him to require an added 48 minutes after a failed first attempt at making the lightweight limit.
“I got here at 173 (pounds), easy,” Burns said. “I start my water load. The weight goes up a little bit, but nothing bad. I’m starting the cut, all good, no problem.”
Burn said his cut has three stages. The first one is cardio, which can involve the elliptical or a run. “Durinho” said he already didn’t sweat as much as he usually does at that stage.
“The workout room was a little cold, and I think that was the first thing – the first little thing,” Burns said.
From there, it was off to hitting pads. Again, he didn’t lose that much weight, but up until then, Burns hadn’t been particularly alarmed.
“I went to the hot bath at night, all good, take a lot of weight,” Burns said. “I was about six pounds (off), so I’m going to lose a pound sleeping, wake up, five pounds, no problem.”
Except there was a problem: Burns hadn’t lost a pound by the time he woke up. Still, no major concerns for Burns, who hit the bathtub to cut the six-and-a-half pounds he still had left.
“I went into the hot bath – 20 minutes in, 20 minutes out – and I lost I think one pound,” Burns said. “And then that was a nightmare. Then I go again, one pound. Go again, another pound.”
Burns got stuck at 157. When he stepped on the scale on Friday morning, he officially weighed 156.5. As per the rules of the Arizona Boxing & MMA Commission regulations, he had another two hours to keep shedding the weight, which he did 48 minutes later.
Half a pound might not seem like that much just looking at it, but it can be quite the physical and mental strain for an athlete who’s already been dehydrating for hours.
“It was very stressful; it was hard,” Burns said. “I think even on the weight cut, I evolved so much as a person because (not even for a minute), I never felt like, ‘(Expletive). Let’s go. I don’t care.’ I was, all the time, ‘OK, let’s go one more time. I don’t care.’ Not one time it crossed my mind (to quit). Like, ‘Let’s go, I’ll give the (fine) money.’ … No. All the time I was thinking, ‘I’ll make weight.’”
But Burns said that didn’t factor into his display on Saturday. Not negatively, anyway. Having been a Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitor since he was 12, Burns is no stranger to having to cut weight. But there is some adjusting to be done now since he no longer has to hit the mark right before the fight, but the day before.
“I’m kind of getting used to the process,” Burns said. “I think that’s why my body holds a little bit more water. I have kind of that little problem, but nothing affected the performance. I felt great over there. I had a great night of sleep. I had good food. I had my great nutritionist helping me out. I think it didn’t affect at all the performance but made me even stronger. ‘OK, now this guy is going to pay.’”
While it all ended well, there’s something to be said for a pattern here. Although “Durinho” never officially missed weight for a UFC bout, the reason why his UFC on FOX 26 meeting with Aubin-Mercier got scrapped was the fact that Burns came in too heavy on fight week and the cut was deemed too unsafe to continue.
In any case, it was a lesson learned for Burns, who said he’s going to start coming in lighter for fight week.
“If I relax, I can go 195, quick,” Burns said. “I had the rule already: ‘I’m not going (heavier than) 185. Now I’m not going (over) 180. Let’s see how I’m going to get. I want to get into fight week below 170. Like 168, 167, because that was a fight on that cut.”
Now, weight made and mission accomplished, it’s off to a five-day vacation with his wife. After that, though, Burns is getting right back in the gym. His goal is to fight at UFC 226 on July 7. And we know the target opponent for that, too, since Burns made it clear that he’d like to give it a new try with Aubin-Mercier.
Aubin-Mercier doesn’t seem too excited for that, as we quickly found out (via Twitter):
But, while we’re at it, allow Burns to shoot his shot.
“The fight didn’t happen, it wasn’t on me, it was on the commission, and he started running his mouth a little bit,” Burns said. “Bro, now we’ve got to make it happen. Now, we’ve got to fight. Still have that, ‘Bro, I’ve got to fight this guy.’ Especially right now. He just hit the top 15. That’s the fight that I want. That’s my passport. That’s my visa to the top 15.”
To hear from Burns, check out the video above.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: After tough weight cut and UFC Glendale win, Gilbert Burns still wants Olivier Aubin-Mercier