Gilbert Burns aka Durinho
While the main event lineup may quite not be what some fight fans would have expected. Regardless, UFC 251 certainly does stack up as a card that can certainly get the juices flowing. With a total of three title fights taking place, it’s shaping up to be quite an occasion. And with Gilbert Burns who now lines up to face the champion, Kamaru Usman, at 170 lbs. The past few weeks have been interesting, to say the least.
Due to, shall we say, disagreements of opinion in contract negotiations with the presumed next in line for a title shot. Durinho finds himself deservingly slotted into the open number one contender position. With a glaring opportunity to become a UFC world champion. Business is business, so step back street Jesus Jorge Masvidal, have a seat Leon, quieten down Colby.
I’ll be honest and say that prior to him beating Tyron Woodley. I was not taking much notice of Gilbert. My bad, but he just seemed to be one of the fighters who was cruising along and under the radar. But all that changed when he beat the former champion, convincingly. And he now finds himself in the coveted number one contender position.
And from the very first round of that fight, both Michael Bisping and Daniel Cormier who were commentating. Couldn’t help but comment on just how good Burns looked. Adding, that it was the best version of the Brazilian they had ever seen. In a fight where he entered as the underdog, but from the very beginning looked like a world-beater.
“We are talking about a Gilbert Burns that is so improved, and is so calm and collected in there right now.”daniel Cormier – May 30th 2020
So it would seem that when the chips are down, Gilbert is a fighter who is able to very much rise to the occasion. Giving his best performance and clinching himself a huge victory when needed.
Moving From Lightweight To Welterweight
With his last loss coming at lightweight to top-five fighter Dan Hooker. The eventual decision to move up to welterweight was made. And it looks to be a decision which has borne its fruits, as he currently rides a four-fight win streak at the limit.
And looking at his performance against Woodley, you might have been fooled into thinking Burns was firstly a striker with elite level grappling. You would be half right, as it looks as though Gilbert has crafted some elite-level striking to add to his already elite level Jiu-jitsu.
Already a three-time BJJ world champion, with an additional laundry list of National and Abu Dabhi championships. Burns is a seriously accomplished ground fighter, who now looks to have crafted his standup with as much care a dedication as he did his ground game.
Looking outstanding on the feet, while at the same time knowing he is one of the very best in the world on the ground. In what now was at one point his plan B, Burns has the luxury of keeping it standing. Without possibly worrying a whole lot if things do eventually end up on the mat.
And so under the tutelage of Henri Hooft at Hard Knocks 365. Burns really does look for all the world like he has matured into a phenomenal striker. And in his fight against the former champion Woodley, this was on display for all to see. While already knocking opponents out, it really does seem as though his striking has evolved and progressed to another level.
Usman vs Burns | Teammates Collide
And now at UFC 251, he will face the reigning UFC welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman. In a fight where he will most likely again enter as an underdog, will Durinho be able to once again rise to the occasion and take the belt from the world’s number one?
Well, the one thing we have to remember about these two fighters, is that they are teammates. And by teammates, I don’t mean they train at different facilities at either side of the country owned by the same gym. The pair have both been training out of Hard Knocks 365 even since the demise of the Blackzillians.
So both will no doubt know one another and what they are capable of all too well. Now whether or not they will be training in the same facility in the lead up to this fight itself is something they will have to work out. That along with who on their team will corner them, are all interesting questions.
But one thing we do know is that with the kind of form both guys have shown recently. And from the in-depth behind the scenes coverage given by Anatomy of a Fighter. Both fighters are consummate professionals who have dedicated themselves one hundred percent to their craft.
So on July 11th, 2020 when the pair face off for the UFC championship. There will be very little they do not intimately know about the others skills. So it will be a fascinating matchup for the former lightweight, now welterweight number one contender. Will he once again rise to the huge occasion? We shall see!
Images courtesy of ufc.com & dazn.com