The Weight Cutting Chronicles: UFC 258 — Moving on Up

Gilbert Burns UFC Fort Lauderdale
Credit: Gleidson Venga/

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 “Durinho” Burns (19-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC)

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

Welterweight (170lbs): 5-0 (UFC), UFC Welterweight Title Challenger

Gilbert Burns began his UFC career back in 2014 with a win over Andreas Stahl in the welterweight division. However, Burns elected to move down to lightweight and was able to find some success with his world class jiu-jitsu in the form of a couple of submission wins before finally losing his perfect 10-0 record. Burns was also finished for the first time in his career at lightweight, which (like diminished cardio) could be a sign of cutting too much weight.

Burns stands at 5’10” and has a 71″ reach, but what moves him out of the lightweight division is the amount of muscle that he carries on his frame. Just look at his brother, fellow UFC fighter Herbert. Gilbert is built, and he easily has one of the thickest neck/trap regions in the UFC. Herbert Burns may actually have a slimmer build, but still has that same huge neck. Gilbert moved up to the welterweight division in August of 2019 at 33 years old. There he defeated Alexy Kunchenko (who was 20-0 at the time), Gunnar Nelson, Demian Maia and former champion Tyron Woodley. Now Gilbert will attempt to make championship weight for the first time as he fights his former teammate Kamaru Usman for the welterweight championship in the main event of UFC 258.