UFC contender Gilbert Burns avoids shoulder surgery, targets return at UFC 299 or UFC 300

Gilbert Burns is back.

After he suffered a major shoulder injury, the UFC welterweight contender is back training and itching to make a return to the octagon. Burns (22-6 MMA, 15-6 UFC) hasn’t been seen in action since May, when he lost a unanimous decision at UFC 88 to Belal Muhammad. In the fight, Burns was seen severely compromised, as he essentially was striking with only his right arm, having his left arm almost completely immobile.

Burns ended up having a bad shoulder injury, but fortunately for him, he avoided surgery and was able to make a full recovery.

“I’m 100 percent and back to training,” Burns told MMA Junkie. “I’m in no pain and injury free. I didn’t get surgery. I almost did. My ligament was barely hanging on my shoulder. My deltoid and my AC joint was very compromised, so I had to rest a lot. I couldn’t do anything for like three months, and then I started my (physical therapy), and then I put a couple of stem cells, and now I’m back to training.”

Now healthy, the Brazilian is looking to make a return in the first half of 2024. He’s targeting UFC 299 in March or UFC 300 in April.

“We talked to Hunter (Campbell) and we didn’t get options yet,” Burns said. “No names yet they’re throwing at me, and they’re saying let’s wait until UFC 296 and after that we’ll talk about opponent.

“But I kind of have a date. I think I’m fighting March or April, UFC 299 or UFC 300. Both dates are good, but let’s see how UFC 296 plays out first, because one opponent I would really like to fight is Colby Covington. He is fighting for the title, so that’s not even a possibility. I have to wait for all that going on.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie