“I was so afraid,” 175-pounder Gilbert Burns shockingly reveals POPPING Francis Ngannou’s arm in training

Gilbert Burns is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

“I was so afraid,” 175-pounder Gilbert Burns shockingly reveals POPPING Francis Ngannou’s arm in training

Gilbert Burns reveals 'popping' Francis Ngannous's arm during grappling a session (via IMAGO)

Gilbert Burns was a fan favorite who earned his stripe with the electrifying performances he put in every time. Now, he will return to fight Jack Della Maddalena at UFC 299. Ahead of the fight, he appeared on the Jaxxon Podcast recently. As such, he recalled an instance of grappling with former UFC heavyweight Francis Ngannou and narrated the horrific story in a particular segment.


Francis Ngannou had developed his MMA game from a power striker to a fighter with overall skills. Once, he grappled with Gilbert Burns who was a black belt in BJJ. As such, Burns shared the story on the ‘Jaxxon Podcast’. He said he and Ngannou were training at the Blackzillian’s gym about five years ago. So, they partnered up to grapple and when Burns got hold of Ngannou’s arm, he refused to tap out.

It resulted in ‘The Predator’ popping his arm and ‘Durrinho’ was left scared. However, things sailed smoothly as Ngannou remained cool about it. Here is what he said:

I trained with him (Francis Ngannou) before... We were still at the Blackzilians, so it's been more than five years ago maybe. We grapple hard, I get his arm, he didn't tap. He pop his arm, I was so afraid. I say oh my god, now this guy gonna kill me now. But he was cool about it.
Gilbert Burns (via Jaxxon Podcast)

As said earlier, Francis Ngannou came into the UFC with a striking background and developed his ground game as he progressed. So, grappling with a superior BJJ practitioner like Gibert Burns would’ve helped him in his pursuit.


As such, the fruits of his hard work in grappling were visible in his fight against Ciryl Gane. Also, for Burns, it would’ve been a challenge to take on a much heavier partner to grapple. However, he used his skills to lock in an arm submission during their roll.

Francis Ngannou ventured out to boxing after having a successful career in the UFC. As such, he previously fought the boxing heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He lost the fight but impressed everyone with his boxing abilities.

On the other hand, he also had a deal signed with the PFL to continue his MMA career. As for Gilbert Burns, he injured his shoulder in his previous fight against Belal Muhammad and is making a comeback against Jack Della Madalena at UFC 299.

Gilbert Burns gives his thoughts about Jack Della Maddalena

Gilbert Burns avoided surgery after his injury and went through rigorous rehabilitation to be fit enough to fight. Now, he shared his thoughts about his scheduled opponent.

Gilbert Burns shares his opinion about his opponent Jack Della Maddalena
Gilbert Burns shares his opinion about his opponent Jack Della Maddalena (via Yahoo Sports/Instagram)

In his recent appearance on the ‘Jaxxson Podcast’, Gilbert Burns praised his opponent Jack Della Maddalena. He acknowledged Maddalena going undefeated in the UFC and regarded him as more than a good boxer.

As such, he analyzed JDM’s tactics to attack the body and made a comparison to Paulo Costa. Moreover, he admitted to being a little bit scared and said he liked to fight opponents like this. Here is what he said:

He’s 6-0 in the UFC. He’s got crazy knockouts, good boxer, heavy boxer – he’s not just a regular boxer. He rips the guys’ bodies, he comes forward kind of like (Paulo) Costa. He’s that guy that is very tough, that is a little bit scary. I like that, when I feel like, ‘Oh, sh*t – if I’m not 100 percent, sh*t might get crazy.
Gilbert Burns (via Jaxxon Podcast)

Gilbert Burns was one of the most active fighters on the UFC roster as he fought three times in under six months in 2023. However, an injury sidelined him for long. As such, he hoped to restart from where he left off in 2023. Standing in his way was Jack Della Maddalena who remained undefeated in the UFC with six wins. Previously, he won two closely contested bouts against Kevin Holland and Bassil Hafez.

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