5 Things You Might Not Know about Gilbert Burns

Now comes the rebuild for Gilbert Burns.

Having failed in his bid to unseat reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight titleholder Kamaru Usman, “Durinho” will return to the Octagon opposite Stephen Thompson in the UFC 264 co-headliner on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Burns owns a 12-4 mark in the UFC, his successful run with the promotion highlighted by victories over Tyron Woodley, Gunnar Nelson and Demian Maia. The loss to Usman at UFC 258 in February was his first in nearly three years.

As Burns moves ever closer to his pivotal three-round battle with Thompson, here are five things you might not know about him:

1. Professional pursuits brought him to America.

Burns was born on July 20, 1986 in Niteroi, Brazil, just outside of Rio de Janeiro but 4,220 miles from where he currently resides in Lantana, Florida. He operates out of the Henri Hooft-led Sanford MMA camp in nearby Deerfield Beach but trained previously at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas.

2. His nickname fits.

At a compact 5-foot-10, 170 pounds, Burns wears his moniker well. “Durinho” means “Little Tough One” in Portuguese. Burns has been at either a height or reach disadvantage—sometimes both—in four of his five bouts since he returned to the welterweight division. The lone exception? Alexey Kunchenko, who stands 5-foot-8 and wields a 70-inch reach. Burns took a unanimous decision from Kunchenko at UFC Fight Night 156 in 2019.

3. He knows what brought him to the dance.

“Durinho” holds the rank of black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Rafael “Fofitio” Barros, a longtime protégé of Nova Uniao founder Andre Pederneiras. A four-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion, Burns was a silver medalist at the 2015 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships. He carried his grappling skills into MMA, where he has secured eight of his 19 career victories by submission.

4. Quick-strike offense is not foreign to him.

Burns sports 10 first-round stoppage wins on his resume. He owns two such victories in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The 34-year-old Brazilian submitted Lukasz Sajewski with an armbar 4:57 into their UFC Fight Night 90 pairing on July 7, 2016 and cut down the aforementioned Maia with punches in their UFC Fight Night 170 co-main event on March 14, 2020.

5. Steadiness has been a hallmark.

While he has experienced his share of disappointment, Burns has been a model of consistency in MMA. He has never suffered back-to-back defeats in his 23-fight career. Meanwhile, Burns has pieced together two long winning streaks. He posted 10 consecutive victories from Jan. 28, 2012 to March 21, 2015 and rattled off six straight wins from Dec. 8, 2018 to May 30, 2020.


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