UFC lightweight and Brazilian jiu jitsu standout Gilbert Burns (14-3) has a new opponent for his upcoming UFC Sunrise fight following his previously scheduled opponent, Eric Wisely’s, withdrawal.
Burns will now face Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series veteran and Island Fights standout, Mike Davis (7-1), a source confirms to The Body Lock.
Burns, 32, is one of the UFC’s most talented jiu jitsu players. The longtime black belt is an IBJJF World champion both in and out of the gi. Additionally, Burns has picked up wins at both the CBJJ Brazilian Nationals and UAEJJF Abu Dhabi Pro Championships.
In MMA, Burns has continued his grappling successes, and has also added a dangerous striking game to his overall arsenal as a result of his time training under renowned kickboxing coach Henri Hooft at the South Florida-based Hardknocks 365 gym.
Burns has won three of his last four, stopping both Jason Saggo and Dan Moret emphatically with strikes before falling short in a tilt against Dan Hooker. The Brazilian rebounded by outclassing well-rounded Canadian Olivier Aubin-Mercier on the cards at UFC 231.
Burns, who was eager to fight in his adopted South Florida home, was slated to face ex-UFC veteran, Eric Wisely, at UFC Sunrise, but Wisely was forced to withdraw from the bout as a result of failing to obtain medical clearance. According to a Facebook post made by Wisely, doctors discovered a rare heart condition known as Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW).
Wisely maintains that he’s yet to experience any symptoms and has fought with the condition for a fifteen-year, 43-fight career, but the medical team would not clear him to compete.
In his place, the UFC will sign top Florida prospect and Contender Series vet, Mike “Beast Boy” Davis.
Davis, 26, is widely regarded as one of the Southeast’s top lightweight prospects. The Island Fights lightweight champion has also fought at featherweight, a division in which he competed on the Contender Series.
Davis turned pro in 2015 after a 7-0 amateur campaign. Since turning pro, Davis has finished all of his wins, scoring six knockouts and one submission.
After moving to 5-0, Davis earned a spot on Dana White’s Contender Series. There, he faced surging prospect Sodiq Yusuff, who outpointed Davis and handed him his first career loss.
Following the Yusuff loss, Davis has rebounded with two consecutive finishes, again under the Island Fights banner. Now, Davis is set to make his UFC debut on short notice against Gilbert Burns.
UFC Sunrise is set to take place on Saturday, April 27, at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.
Below is the updated event, along with exclusive The Body Lock content regarding highlighted fighters.
Main Card (ESPN+)
- Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza (26-6) vs. Jack “The Joker” Hermansson (19-4)
- Greg “The Prince of War” Hardy (3-1) vs. Dimitrii Smoliakov (8-2)
- Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira (19-6-1) vs. “Platinum” Mike Perry (12-4)
- Glover Teixeria (28-7) vs. Ion “The Hulk” Cutelaba (14-3)
- John “Hands of Stone” Lineker (31-8) vs. Cory Sandhagen (10-1)
- Roosevelt “The Predator” Roberts (7-0) vs. Thomas “The Young Lion” Gifford (14-7)
Preliminary Card (ESPN)
- Ben “Killa B” Saunders (22-11-2) vs. Takashi Sato (14-2)
- Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski (27-17) vs. Augusto Sakai (12-1-1)
- Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza (14-6) vs. Virna “Carcara” Jandiroba (14-0)
- Gilbert Burns (14-3) vs. Mike Davis (7-1) – per The Body Lock
Early Prelims (ESPN2)
- Jim “A10” Miller (29-13) vs. Jason “Nicoyas” Gonzalez (11-4)
- Jessica Penne (12-6) vs. Jodie Esquibel (6-4)
- Court “The Crusher” McGee (19-7) vs. Dhiego Lima (13-7)
Michael Fiedel is The Body Lock's deputy editor, a staff writer for FloCombat, and a Russell-Rice scholarship recipient at Vanderbilt University.