FIGHTER PROFILE: GILBERT ‘DURINHO’ BURNS

Gilbert Burns | UFC
Photo Courtesy of Zuffa llc

Since making his return to Welterweight from Lightweight, Gilbert Burns has been burning through some of the biggest names in the UFC’s Welterweight division.  Burns who is one of the best grapplers in all of MMA and has pieced together an exceptional martial arts career both in the UFC Octagon and outside of the Octagon on the Jiu Jitsu circuit where he still continually competes. 

Burns got his start in martial arts at age 12 when his father bartered Brazilian Jiu Jitsu lessons in exchange for him fixing a customer’s car. Burns and his brothers got three months of Jiu Jitsu lessons at Academia Associação Oriente where he trained under Welton Ribeiro. Burns fell in love with the “gentle art” as it has become known as. Burns would go on to be very successful in Jiu Jitsu, Burns would win the World No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu Championship in 2010 and again in 2013.  Burns would also win the World Cup finals Abu Dhabi that year. Burns would continue his success  winning the gold medal in the 2011 World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships.  

In 2011 Burns pivoted to competing in MMA where he’d make a name for himself. Burns would make his debut in MMA in 2012 with a Submission victory (rear-naked choke) against José Salgado for the Crown Fighting Championships promotion. Burns would win his next six fights which would earn the Brazilian a shot at fighting in the biggest MMA promotion in the world, the UFC. 

Burns would make his UFC debut against Andreas Ståhl he’d win by Unanimous Decision. From there Burns would go to Lightweight he’d fight nine fights in that division and once at Catchweight (158 lb.) Burns would return to Welterweight against Alexey Kunchenko where he’d win by unanimous decision.  Burns would make a dominant showing in the division beating former champion Tyron Woodley. This would earn Burns a title shot at Kamaru Usman at UFC 258 in February 2021. Burns would lose that shot at the title but would return to his winning ways with a victory over Stephen Thompson at UFC 264 in July on one of the UFC’s biggest PPVs ever. 

It is not known at this time who Burns will face next. Hopefully he’ll get another title shot when we find out who the winner of Usman vs. Covington II will be at UFC 268 in November.

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