The Weight Cutting Chronicles: UFC Vegas

Mackenzie Dern UFC
Mackenzie Dern Credit: Joao Baptista/

The UFC is returning for yet another card during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This time, the UFC has elected to hold its event at their Apex Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Heavy precautions will be taken again at UFC Vegas in order to ensure that no fighter is exposed to anything dangerous, especially while their immune system is severely compromised from a weight cut.

Like it or not, weight-cutting is deeply rooted in mixed martial arts. MMA adopted its weight-cutting from the sport of wrestling, where it is presumed to be very advantageous to be the biggest and strongest in your weight class. Known as the ‘fight before the fight,’ most UFC fighters cut anywhere from 5-25 pounds, with some fighters even in excess of 30 pounds.

Weight-cutting is the ultimate test of discipline and willpower. Many fighters in the sport consider it very unprofessional to miss weight. In this series, we will shine a light on fighters who cut a massive amount of weight, who have missed weight multiple times in the past, who have made weight-class changes, along with how the weight-cut and weigh-in could affect possible upcoming match-ups. Basically, every aspect of weight-cutting and how it affects the fight game.

Gilbert Burns UFC Fort Lauderdale
Credit: Gleidson Venga/

Gilbert “Durinho” Burns (18-3, MMA, 11-3 UFC)

Lightweight (155lbs): 7-3 (UFC)

Welterweight (170lbs): 4-0 (UFC)

Gilbert Burns has been bouncing between the UFC’s welterweight and lightweight divisions since being brought into the promotion back in 2014. Burns has had a lot more fights and is well known at lightweight but he actually made his UFC debut at welterweight.

The Oliver Aubin-Mercier fight was a real turning point in Gilbert’s weight cutting journey; he was 32 at the time of the bout. Gilbert had outgrown the weight class, but luckily had just as much of a presence in the UFC’s welterweight division. Gilbert is currently undefeated with four wins in the welterweight division. Most recently he KO’d Demian Maia in the first round of the co-main event at UFC Brasilia in March. If Gilbert can get past Former Champion Tyron Woodley at UFC Vegas then he would be just one in a string of fighters recently that have done away with an excessive weight cut and immediately found success.