Gilbert Burns has a diagnosis on the shoulder he injured early into his UFC 288 loss to Belal Muhammad this past weekend (Sat., May 6, 2023) inside Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Burns struggled through five tough rounds against Muhammad, losing the Welterweight title eliminator fight 50-45, 49-46 and 49-46 on the judges’ scorecards. The fight took a bad turn for “Durinho” midway through the first round when he went for a takedown, wrecking his arm in the process.
The Brazilian fighter detailed the situation in a new video uploaded to his YouTube channel.
“[Muhammad] sprawled back a bit and did a down block, and I landed right on my left shoulder,” Burns said (via MMA Junkie). “All my weight, all Belal Muhammad’s weight was on my left shoulder. From there on it was hard to clear my mind and accept that I was hurt.
“I thought about quitting many times,” he admitted. “I didn’t, but I thought about it. It was that mental battle.”
The defeat knocked Burns out of title shot contention for the immediate future, but at least the injury isn’t so severe as to require surgery or lengthy rehabilitation.
“I have AC joint torn, but it’s the second to third grade,” he said. “I have the dilatory torn. On the trap I have a muscle torn, and I have a sprain on my C-4 and my C-5 [vertebrae]. But all to those are partial. Nothing major. Thank God I don’t need no surgery. I’m taking a strong inflammatory.”
“The good news is I don’t need surgery. It’s going to be between two to three months recovery. I’ve got to do a lot of rest the first three weeks. I don’t think I even have PT. I’m just going to get a brace. The good thing was all partial.”
Burns came into UFC 288 with a two-fight win streak and a lot of good will from UFC for stepping up last-minute to boost the event after the original co-main between Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush fell through. That decision didn’t work out for him, though.
UFC President, Dana White, had already named Burns the next title challenger after Colby Covington and Leon Edwards fight for the 170-pound belt later this year. This loss — and the injury — changes things, obviously.
For complete UFC 288: “Sterling vs. Cejudo” results and play-by-play, click HERE.