Gilbert Burns pulled from UFC Orlando bill amid weight cut concerns

Gilbert Burns

The UFC’s return to Orlando, which will see the Octagon touch down in the Amway Center this Saturday night, has been rocked by a last-minute fight cancellation, as Brazil’s Gilbert Burns has been pulled from his lightweight bout with Canada’s Olivier Aubin-Mercier. Burns was pulled from this contest amid concerns that he could safely cut the remaining pounds required to make the lightweight division’s 156-pound cap.

This news was first reported by FloCombat, and later confirmed by MMAJunkie, who acquired a statement on the issue from the UFC.

“Upon his arrival, the UFC medical team determined that it would be unsafe for Burns to cut additional weight necessary to meet the 156-pound limit,” the statement said. “The card will proceed as scheduled with twelve fights.”

This bout marked Burns’ opportunity to build on the momentum of a thunderous knockout win over Jason Saggo. This win was preceded by a decision loss to fellow Brazilian Michel Prazeres.

Aubin-Mercier, on the other hand, sought to improve his win-streak to four, after impressive wins over Thibault Gouti, Drew Dober and Tony Martin.

Here’s the UFC Orlando lineup as it stands after Gilbert Burns removal from the bill (h/t MMAJunkie).

MAIN CARD (FOX, 8 p.m. ET)

  • Jeremy Stephens vs. Josh Emmett
  • Jessica Andrade vs. Tecia Torres
  • Ilir Latifi vs. Ovince Saint Preux
  • Max Griffin vs. Mike Perry

PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX, 6 p.m. ET)

  • Renan Barao vs. Brian Kelleher
  • Sara McMann vs. Marion Reneau
  • Angela Hill vs. Maryna Moroz
  • Alan Jouban vs. Ben Saunders

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 4 p.m. ET)

  • Sam Alvey vs. Marcin Prachnio
  • Russell Doane vs. Rani Yahya
  • Alex Perez vs. Eric Shelton
  • Manny Bermudez vs. Albert Morales

Were you looking forward to UFC Orlando’s Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier lightweight bout? Who would you like to see both men fight next now that this fight’s been nixed?

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/21/2018.