The Weight Cutting Chronicles: UFC 273 — Gilbert Burns vs. Khamzat Chimaev

Khamzat Chimaev, UFC Vegas 11 weigh-in
Khamzat Chimaev, UFC Vegas 11 Weigh-In Credit: Rodney James Edgar/Cageside Press

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 select 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 258 weigh-in Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Gilbert “Durinho” Burns (20-4 MMA, 13-4 UFC)

Lightweight (155lbs): 8-3 (UFC)

Welterweight (170lbs): 5-1 (UFC), Former UFC Welterweight Title Challenger

Gilbert Burns is now 35 years old and at 5’10” tall. With a 71″ reach he is at a serious size disadvantage to his UFC 273 opponent.

Burns entered the UFC way back in 2014 at 170lbs, before transitioning to 155lbs in his very next fight. Burns stayed at lightweight up until 2019 and never actually missed weight though he definitely negatively affected some of his performances due to his excessive weight cut.

Returning to the 170lb division, Burns quickly moved up the UFC’s welterweight ranks by beating big names in legitimate career-long welterweights like Gunnar Nelson, Demian Maia and Tyron Woodley.

Burns ultimately lost to the welterweight champion, his former training partner, Kamaru Usman. The fight came in February 2021; Burns returned to the win column against another big welterweight name in Stephen Thompson last July.


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