Exclusive: Gilbert Burns Talks UFC Orlando, Training with Michael Chandler & Changed Mindset


Gilbert Burns returns to action at UFC On Fox 28 on February 24, and his opponent on that night is going to be TUF alumni Olivier Aubin-Mercier.

The Brazilian has recently been training with Henri Hooft after a tenure with the Blackzilians and Burns says the change has helped him become just a fighter again.

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“Especially with me, all my backgrounds are in jiu-jitsu and I used to be one of the main guys with the Blackzilians. Like I was coaching a lot of times and I was cornering a lot of guys, so I was getting in a position that was a lot like a coach. When it comes to a fight, I don’t want to be in that position, I want to be training and getting prepared. People watching me said I need to get better and I am taking that responsibility (of coaching) out of me to get better at jiu-jitsu. I wanna be a fighter, but I want guys taking care of my jiu-jitsu and not me thinking about my jiu-jitsu. I wanna put people in charge (of his training) and that’s what I did for my last fight and this fight. These things help me a lot so I don’t become that guy (just a coach). I have guys in charge that help me out as well,” Burns said in an exclusive interview with Fightful’s James Lynch.

This is going to be the second straight fight that Burns fought under Hooft, with the first coming at UFC Fight Night Pittsburgh.

Speaking of the bout at UFC Fight Night Pittsburgh, a few changes made before the encounter by Burns is what he believes led to victory.

“I changed just two things that made a lot of difference in the Jason Saggo fight. First I started to go to psychological sports coaching and I started to change my conditioning. I got one of the biggest sports psychologist in Brazil and she used to be the main (psychologist) to the national team (in Brazil). So she has a lot of experience and I did that work, I felt great and I’m still doing it. In my conditioning, I am doing ITP in Baco Raton (Florida). JC Santana (trainer) is a Cuban guy at a high, high level. I predicted that my mental game and my physicality would be there, I know that Jason (Saggo) had never been finished. I was going for the finish and even with a finish, I knew I was going to dominate the fight. That was my whole mentality going into the fight, I wanted to have a dominant performance and if I cannot finish, it was because the guy was super unbreakable. If he was going to stand up, I was going to knock him out or take him down, try to beat him up and TKO finish the guy. I got my first knockout in the UFC and it was a pretty good win,” says Burns.

UFC On Fox 28 takes place on Saturday, February 24 from the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida with Jeremy Stephens and Josh Emmett headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which airs live on Fox.

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