You know deep down, all Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighters just want to bang, bro.
But, Gilbert Burns fought his natural tendency to bang at UFC 283 last night (Sat., Jan. 21, 2023) in Rio de Janeiro, securing himself a quick first round submission over the always-tough Neil Magny (watch the finish here). According to “Durinho,” that strategy and success came about because of a last-minute demand from his wife, Bruna.
“I had the dream of having UFC coming to my city and having all my family, all my friends here,” Burns said in an interview with UFC.com following his big win. “I have that privilege, so I had to perform. It was a lot of pressure. And it was crazy, because I was saying goodbye to my wife before coming to the fight, and she said something that I held onto, for me.
“She said ‘I don’t want you to bang today. I want a quick submission, don’t get hit. You promise you gonna do that?’” he continued. “I’m like ... yeah? Okay? I promise, okay. ‘You promise you’re going to do that?’ ‘Okay, yeah!’ I don’t wanna make her mad. She’s a black belt in jiu jitsu too, so I’m like ‘Yeah, okay!’”
Burns is known for his blood and guts brawls, but his last win was in July 2021 when he used his Brazilian jiu-jitsu to snuff out Stephen Thompson. So, maybe there was something to his wife’s suggestion that he pass on another Khamzat-style brawl and grapple the butt off Magny.
Her words rung in his ears as he was standing in front of Magny.
“The fight has started, I’m getting my distance and getting it going,” Burns said. “And I saw the right hand was there, I thought, ‘Okay, I’m going to throw it so hard at this guy in the beginning.’ And then I start to remember the promise, and I’m like, ‘Oh, sh— I gotta finish this guy. Okay, okay, if the right doesn’t connect I’m gonna shoot for a takedown.’”
“And then he stepped back, the takedown was right there, and I was like, ‘Okay, I’m gonna finish this guy.’ What she said just came back to me in my mind. And I was like ‘Okay, I got it.’”
UFC reporte,r McKenzie Pavacich, asked him if he knew the saying, “Happy wife, happy life.”
“Yes, I do,” Burns said, laughing. “I’m going to have a beautiful night, beautiful week, beautiful month, everything is gonna be good right now.”
Burns tapped Magny with an arm-triangle choke with 45 seconds left in the first round. Now he’s healthy and ready to go again as soon as possible. He called out Colby Covington in his post-fight interview, but made it clear he’s not picky.
“If Colby doesn’t want this fight, if UFC doesn’t want this fight, give me Belal, give me Masvidal,” Gilbert said. “I don’t care. But I want a busy year and I want to establish [myself]. I don’t want no favors, I want to establish myself as the next guy fighting for the title. So if Colby’s being running, give me Belal Muhammad, give me Jorge Masvidal, give me anyone.
“I want to be busy, I want to work,” Burns concluded. “You don’t hear these guys saying that.”
For complete UFC 283 results and coverage click here.