Gilbert Burns (aka “Durinho”), born July 20, 1986, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is a mixed martial artist holding a record of 19-4, and currently stands at no.2 in the UFC welterweight rankings.
Burns (34), holds notable wins over Tyron Woodley, Demian Maia and Gunnar Nelson, and currently trains at Sanford MMA alongside fighters such as Michael Chandler, Anthony Johnson, Volkan Oezdemir and Tyrone Spong.
Gilbert Burns has a 2nd degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Rafael “Fofitio” Barros, and is a 3-time Jiu-Jitsu world champion as well as a world cup gold-medalist grappler; this extensive skill set gives Burns an advantage that very few are able to match.
These grappling skills have come to Burns’ aid 8 times in his professional wins with 3 rear naked chokes and his specialized armbar that accounts for 5 of his victories.
However, it would be easy to think that with Burns’ expertise in grappling, that his striking would be below par, but that’s not the case here as he holds an impressive 6 KO/TKO victories.
The brilliance of Burns’ ground game and the fear it puts into opponents gives him major confidence in his stand up game. He often fires out hellish body kicks without fear of being taken down and he can afford to be more expressive, whereas other fighters would simply get punished.
Burns’ raw power is another factor to watch out for, as he has shown throughout his career, that he can put fighters away with both hands.
Whilst still competing at the highest level in the Jiu-Jitsu world, Burns decided to go professional in MMA in 2012, winning his debut via rear naked choke in a first round stoppage in Utah, USA.
For his next 6 fights, Burns fought in his home country of Brazil, compiling a record of 7-0 with 7 stoppages, which earned him a call from the UFC.
Burns had a 3-0 start in his UFC career before suffering his first career defeat whilst his next 5 fights went 3-2. However, after losing to Dan Hooker in 2018, Burns went on a tear, putting together a 6-fight win streak and moving back up to welterweight during this run.
This 6-fight streak includes high-level fighters such as Tyron Woodley, Demian Maia and Gunnar Nelson, and Burns was set to face an old friend and former training partner, Kamaru Usman, in a shot for the welterweight championship.
Unfortunately, Burns lost in a third round stoppage but put up a good performance rocking Usman in the first round, albeit not enough for UFC gold. Burns is set to take on Stephen Thompson in a classic ‘striker vs grappler’ matchup this Sunday, July 11th, at UFC 264: Poirier vs. McGregor 3, who’ll win? We can’t wait to find out…(for both fights)
Armed now with a background into his career let’s launch into Gilbert Burns: Top 5 MMA Finishes! (in descending order)
5. Vs. Mike Davis – UFC FN: 150 (April 27, 2019)
On the road to his 6-fight win streak and shot at the championship, Mike Davies was no.2 on the streak and Burns was reunited with an old friend, the rear naked choke.
It was a cagey start from both fighters until, at 1:35 in, Burns ducks in and finishes a body lock takedown, trying to take Davis’ back and starting to get in some solid work; however, Davis manages to get back to his feet.
With 2 minutes left on the clock, a huge Davis right-hand stumbles Burns back, whilst Davis swings wildly and, in the process, gets caught with a counter right hook.
At the back end of the first round, Burns begins to throw chopping kicks to Davis’ calf, halting his forward progression as the momentum grows for Burns. Davis’ wild nature gets him in trouble again as an overextended strike leaves him vulnerable allowing a quick takedown from Burns to end the round.
Round 2 starts, and within 15 seconds, Burns drops down for a double leg takedown. Davis does well to pull him up, however, Burns’ chain wrestling allows him to use a body lock to take the fight to the ground.
Burns gets Davis’ back and begins to reign down some heavy strikes before looking to finish the fight with a choke attempt but is unable to close the show and goes back instead to the constant beating.
After an extremely dominant round from Burns with 50 seconds left in the second round, he clamps on a constricting rear naked choke that forces Davis to yield, as he taps at 4:15 of round 2.
An impressive submission victory for Burns, with his first choke finish in almost 7 years since his third professional fight.
4. Vs. Christos Giagos – UFC 179 (Oct. 25, 2014)
An 8-0 Gilbert Burns was set for his second fight in the UFC in his hometown of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This was also Burns’ debut in the lightweight division, and he only needed one round to introduce himself to this division.
After engaging on the feet and going back and forth, at 1:15 Burns successfully completes a beautifully-timed, ducking-double leg, and the 3-time world champion, world cup gold-medalist grappler sets to work.
At 3 minutes in, Burns passes Giagos’ guard and takes the mount, causing Giagos to scramble, but things only get worse as Burns latches on a body triangle whilst taking Giagos’ back.
Giagos tries to stand but struggles as he wears Burns like a 155lb (70kg) backpack. Giagos then tries to flip Burns off yet to no avail. With 20 seconds on the clock, as Burns looks to take mount, he latches on to an arm and belly down hyperextends the arm with less than 10 seconds left getting the tap late in the round with just 3 seconds left at 4:57.
Burns bursts onto the lightweight division in his divisional debut, and the $50,000 Performance of the Night Bonus in front of his home fans made this deal just that much sweeter!
3. Vs. Dan Moret – UFC on FOX: 29 (April 14, 2018)
Coming off a second round knockout win against Jason Saggo, Burns looked to continue this trend against Dan Moret.
In round 1, Burns immediately starts to unleash thunderous body kicks without fear of being taken down as he has his 3 Jiu-Jitsu world championships’ experience to fall back on.
At 1:50 in, and this time it’s Moret on the front foot as he blitzes forward – however, it’s only into Burns’ strikes as Burns controls the head and lands multiple uppercuts in succession.
Things take a turn however as, with 1:35 left on the clock, Burns gets caught by a vicious right hook that appears to hurt Burns, causing him to cover up. Moret starts to unload looking for the finish but in doing so, leaves himself vulnerable to a body lock takedown.
Despite being briefly rocked, Burns is able to control Moret for the remainder of the round.
After an explosive first round, things pick back up in round 2 as Burns fires out 3 mean body kicks. As Moret throws a leg kick 50 seconds in, a perfectly-timed counter right lands and immediately shakes Moret to his core, and he stumbles back to the cage.
Burns then puts the finishing touch on the fight with a monstrous right hook leaving Moret incapacitated at 59 seconds of round 2.
What a finish for the world champion GRAPPLER Burns with back-to-back KO’s showing us that he’s leagues beyond just being a one-trick pony.
2. Vs. Alex Oliveira – UFC FN: 62 (March 21, 2015)
In his third UFC fight, Burns looked to move to 10-0 against Alex Oliveira.
At 1 minute into round 1, Burns trips Oliveira to the floor and, from full guard, throws some huge slashing elbows, however, Oliveira is able to scramble back to his feet.
With 2:20 left on the clock, Burns is caught by a counter right hook that shakes him up badly, as Oliveira begins to up his output. Despite the good opening for Burns, Oliveira was able to steal the round with the more clinical striking at the back end of the round.
The majority of the first 2 minutes of round 2 are spent with Burns pressing Oliveira against the cage, looking for a takedown, but Oliveira defends well and escapes from the position.
Oliveira continues to use his height and reach advantage keeping Burns at a distance and clipping him as he enters the pocket – the damage is visible on Burns’ face as he looks bloody and bruised. Oliveira looks to be up 2-0 going into round 3.
Burns, knowing he needs a finish, comes out aggressively in round 3 and, in under 10 seconds, is able to get Oliveira to the mat and immediately gets to the mount.
Burns begins to work from his dominant position, but Oliveira tries to wall walk and scrambles up; however, a Burns’ omoplata attempt prevents Oliveira from going anywhere. This omoplata position gives Burns great control of Oliveira, and he lands some heavy strikes but still can’t quite find the needed finish and opts to take back the mount position.
Soon after taking the mount, Burns looks for a mounted triangle, but Oliveira, wise to the idea, tries to scramble. Burns then latches on to an arm and rolls into his trademark armbar getting a much-needed late finish at 4:14 into the third and final round, avoiding his first career defeat.
This was an amazing comeback win moving Burns to 10-0, and earning him a $50,000 Performance of the Night Bonus into the bargain.
1. Vs. Demian Maia – UFC FN: 170 (March 14, 2020)
Burns took on the number 5-ranked welterweight Maia, who was on a 3-fight win streak in a battle among the division’s elite grapplers.
In round 1, Maia comes out on the front foot pressuring Burns, and 50 seconds in, briefly takes Burns down, yet a kneebar attempt from Gilbert prevents Maia from gaining any control.
Burns gets back to his feet, but again Maia looks for the takedown and gets it against the fence. At 2 minutes in, Maia takes Burns’ back but as he tries to take the mount, Burns scrambles back to his feet.
Maia throws out a lazy jab which Burns viciously counters over the top with a left hook dropping Maia. Burns then jumps on top to finish the job which he does at 2:34 of round 1.
This impressive knockout earned Burns his first Performance of the Night Bonus of $50,000, at welterweight. This collision of grappling gods seemed, ironically, to be settled with the better striker taking the win!