The UFC have pulled the scheduled lightweight bout between Gilbert Burns and Olivier Aubin-Mercier which was set to take place at this weekend’s UFC On FOX 28 in Orlando, Florida.
The organisation today confirmed the news following an initial report from FloCombat, writing in a statement: “Saturday’s UFC Fight Night bout between Gilbert Burns and Olivier Aubin-Mercier has been removed from the card at Amway Center in Orlando. 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 card will proceed as scheduled with twelve fights.”
This marks the first time that the UFC have cancelled a bout this far out on fight week, well before Burns — who has never missed weight in his career — was set to step on the scales.
The practice of weight-cutting has been a source of increased scrutiny in the past twelve months, after numerous fighters and analysts alike have criticised what is seen by some as an archaic institution in the fight business. While we don’t know how much weight Burns needed to lose before Friday’s weigh-ins, the move to pull the bout before Burns attempted to spend the majority of Wednesday and Thursday cutting weight will likely be seen as a positive move by those who support reforming the generally accepted practice (and sometimes unhealthy) of weight-cutting.
Burns was set to chase his sixth UFC win this weekend against Aubin-Mercier, following a September knockout of Jason Saggo.
It is not yet known if the UFC intend to rebook the fight for a future card, or if either fighter will be monetarily compensated following the cancellation of the bout.