Former lightweight contender Gilbert Burns feels like he has found his home at welterweight. After taking on Alexey Kunchenko on short notice and emerging victorious with a unanimous decision victory at UFC Uruguay, ‘Durinho’ believes the 170 lb division is where he belongs.
In an interview with Combate, the 33-year-old said he felt comfortable returning to welterweight after five years, and felt like, during the fight, he made up for his lack of strength in speed.
“I knew it would be a war at the end, I was ready for that,” Burns said. “I only had two weeks to prepare. The guys was Russian, undefeated, tough as nails, all those Russians are hard. I think I lost some of my brute strength, but I think I gained a lot of speed. I think it’s all a matter of adaptation and proper training, but I want to stay in this division, this is my division.”
Additionally, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu blackbelt, who already has two wins in the UFC this year, also expressed a desire to keep the ball rolling and would welcome two more fights before the year ends. If that comes to fruition, it would make 2019 his busiest year in the Octagon so far.
“Now, I want to prepare for ADCC,” Burns said. “But, for sure, I’ll fight one more time before the end of the year. I’m certain I’ll have one or two more fights until then. Now that I don’t have to cut weight anymore, it’ll be different. It would be nice to be back at UFC Sao Paulo.”
Currently on a three-fight winning streak, Gilbert Burns (16-3) tapped out Mike Davis back in April and bested Olivier Aubin-Mercier in December 2018, before his aforementioned win over Kunchenko. Durinho hasn’t lost a fight since he was knocked out by Dan Hooker, in July 2018.