Lightweights Gilbert Burns (12-2) and Jason Saggo (12-3) are set to clash at UFC Fight Night 116 on Sept. 16 from PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. UFC officials recently announced the matchup.
Burns is a 31-year-old Brazilian fighting out of Combat Club in south Florida. “Durinho” as he is known, was chosen by Vitor Belfort as his team’s grappling coach on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil back in 2012.
Fighting at welterweight, Burns entered the UFC octagon for the first time in 2014 with a unanimous decision win over Andreas Stahl. Following that, Burns moved down to lightweight where he picked up a pair of “Performance of the Night” bonuses with submission wins over Christos Giagos and Alex Oliveira.
The second-degree BJJ black belt most recently dropped a decision to Michael Prazeres at UFC Fight Night 95 last September. He is now 4-2 inside the octagon and has finished eight of his 12 career victories via submission and three by knockout.
Saggo is a 31-year-old BJJ black belt under Royler Gracie. The Toronto native made his UFC debut in June 2014 with a first-round TKO over Josh Shockley. Four months later he returned against Paul Felder but lost the split decision.
Saggo rebounded in his next two fights though, scoring a TKO over Justin Salas at UFC 196 and a split decision over Leandro Silva at UFC Fight Night 89.
The Canadian last fought in Dec. 2016 when he dropped a unanimous decision to Rustam Khabilov. Saggo is now 3-2 in the UFC, and just like his upcoming opponent, he has finished eight of his 12 career wins via submission and three by knockout.
A middleweight matchup between former champion Luke Rockhold and No. 9 ranked David Branch is expected to headline the card.