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Gilbert Burns likes to stay ready for competition. Like many Brazilian fighters, competing in Brazilian jiu-jitsu is something that has been part of his pathway into mixed martial arts. After picking up a win against Olivier Aubin-Mercier at UFC 231 last December, he wants to stay as active as possible and knows he can always compete on the jiu-jitsu circuit. On March 15, he’ll be competing at Titan FC 53 in their first ever combat grappling match against Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran, Gleison Tibau.
“It’s jiu-jitsu, with the slaps,” is how Burns described the bout. The new form of grappling competition is growing in popularity and something "Durinho" welcomes as a new way to stay ready. Facing a former UFC fighter only makes it that much more exciting for the competitor. “We almost fought in the UFC, and then I ended up fighting [Michel] Prazeres, but we never fought,” said Burns of Tibau. He added that he “knows his game very well, probably better than he thinks I know and I’m excited to be the first one doing this at Titan FC.”
The timing is perfect for Burns though as he would like to be on the UFC on ESPN 3 card that happens in Florida, where he trains out of. Nothing has been made official, but conversations have been had with the promotion about being on the card. As far as MMA goes, he would like to fight a ranked opponent to keep up with the momentum he has after picking up a high profile win last year.
Everyone likes it when they can work close to home and Burns will be doing just that at Titan FC 53. He has a lot of friends of his coming to watch and those same acquaintances would fill some seats on a UFC card as well. Titan FC 53 will broadcast exclusively on UFC Fight Pass and will have preliminary action streamed live on Facebook.
Edward Carbajal serves as the lead MMA analyst for Frontproof Media and holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a brown belt in Ishin Ryu Karate. He has covered combat sports since 2014 and has been a fan of MMA since the first UFC. You can follow Edward on Twitter @Carbazel or at his website TheBlogBoardJungle.com.