Las Vegas, NV — Few if anyone predicted the way Daniel Pineda vs. Herbert Burns would play out at UFC 252.
For starters, after making weight for a fight earlier in the pandemic, a miss at the scales by Burns was wholly unexpected. Then seeing Pineda not only survive on the ground, but trap Burns in a crucifix before pounding him out, was, well, something of a shock.
Pineda (27-13, 2NC), who returned to the UFC for the first time in six years at UFC 252, addressed both the weight miss, and the finish, following the bout.
“That was very unprofessional. It’s our job to make weight, and he missed weight by three and a half pounds,” he stated backstage at the UFC Apex. “That’s not cool.”
Asked whether he felt Burns tiring in the second round prior to the finish, perhaps due to a tough weight cut, Pineda retorted by saying “No. I took his balls.”
The plan, he said, “was to stand up a little bit, but it went to the ground. And I was like ‘screw it, we’re on the ground, let’s see what he’s got!'”
The win will at least help put a distasteful memory from his time in the PFL behind him. Pineda stepped into the promotion on short notice last year, only to fail a drug test. The result was two wins in a single night being overturned to no contests. And being ejected from last year’s PFL featherweight finale.
“I’m excited to be here, I’m happy to be here,” he said regarding his return to the UFC. “Everything happens for a reason. I got screwed over, and now I’m here.”
Watch the full UFC 252 post-fight press scrum with Daniel Pineda above.