Burns, who lives in Florida, drove to Orlando on Feb. 20 with his teammate Vicente Luque and one of his coaches. He started water loading that morning, a process that helps him sweat and cut weight easier.
The long drive to Orlando didn’t allow him to train that day before checking in at the UFC hotel. When the local athletic commission asked him to step on a scale to check his weight, Burns, who woke up at 174 pounds that day, was 12 pounds heavier, a shocking 30 pounds over the lightweight limit.
”After I checked in with the UFC, we got a house to stay with Vicente and my professor,” Burns said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, “and my manager Ali (Abdelaziz) called and said that the commission and the UFC wanted to cancel the fight.”
“Durinho” has done that water loading process many times before, and this was the first time that he went past the 185-pound mark. He wasn’t expecting a hard time to make the 156-pound limit for his fight with Aubin-Mercier, though, expecting to go down to 175 pounds the next day, but never had the chance to try.
”It was kind of devastating for me,” Burns said. “I put a lot of work for that, I believe it was one of my best shape, but I just accept the order. I was devastated in the beginning, but had to call my wife and all my coaches to explain. It was just crazy, you know? Working so hard and not being able to perform.”
The jiu-jitsu ace admits he’s a big lightweight, and plans on changing things up ahead of his next UFC fight.
”I’m kinda almost a middleweight,” Burns said. “I walk around 185 and I’m fighting at lightweight. A lot of guys do (that). Right now I just need to get lower. I just gonna make sure I fight.”
What Burns wants to know is the exact number he has to hit on a scale when fight week starts and avoid more confusing in the future.
”They have ‘suggestions.’ Right now, I’m gonna ask USADA, Jeff (Novitzky), how much I have to be,” Burns said. “Just make that rule specific. Let me know and I’m gonna follow the rules. I am heavy, I’m a big lightweight, but I always make weight.
”If they have new rules right now, let me know. I do understand (the UFC), they are trying to clean the sport and make it safer, but let me know. … Give me a number. Don’t come with a guideline, ‘we have a suggestion, oh, but that’s too much.’ How much is too much? I don’t know. We just saw Yoel Romero not make weight and he’s fighting for the title.”
Burns’ next fight is not official yet, but he’s expected to face Lando Vannata at UFC on FOX 29 in Glendale, Arizona, on April 14. The match-up was first reported by Combate, and “Durinho” said it’s verbally agreed, but contracts are yet to be signed.