Durinho may debut as pro: “No one will want to fight me at amateur!”

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Durinho overtaken with emotion after beating Kron Gracie / Photo: Ivan Trindade

As previously reported here on GRACIEMAG.com, Gilbert Durinho is helping Vitor Belfort get ready to face Yoshihiro Akiyama for his next UFC outing, on August 6. Durinho recently stated he wants to make his MMA debut this year. What’s more, Belfort already confirmed the world champion’s debut is all set to happen. So we contacted the Atos black belt, who spoke of his upcoming challenge, this time in the cage.

Here’s what he had to say:

Vitor said you’re all set to make your MMA debut. Is that so?

I’m already set up with an event; it’s Tuff-N-Uff, here in Las Vegas. I think Robert Drysdale has fought there before too. I just don’t know who I’ll be facing yet, but the fight is set for July 30. Everything is all set, I’m going to fight at 155lbs.

This event features amateur fights as well. Will you be doing an amateur fight?

Yes, there are amateur and professional fights and at first I wanted to fight at amateur, if just to see how I felt. But with these articles coming out saying I’ve been training with Vitor and I’m a world champion, I think I’ll have to debut as a professional. No one will want to fight me at amateur!

Do you already feel prepared? Before this partnership with Belfort, had you trained MMA?

I did a bit of MMA before leaving Nova União and at the time it was one of the reasons for my leaving the team. I still wanted to focus on Jiu-Jitsu but the team was entirely focused on MMA at the time. It’s new to me, but I have trained it. Nonetheless, it’s what I’m focused on now, training standup and sparring. I feel more at ease with every training session and I think the fact I’m always training No-Gi and for my Jiu-Jitsu top game, I do a lot of takedowns. Making the adaptation is cool.

Now do you intend to dive into an MMA career for real or just have the experience?

For the time being, I have mixed feelings about it. Besides the other training, I train in the gi everyday here. I really like competing in Gi Jiu-Jitsu, No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu, and there’s still the ADCC this year. I taking it one objective at a time, and the next one is this fight on the 30th.

What about the ADCC, were you invited?

I’m practicing a lot of wrestling and No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu in hopes of going to the ADCC. That’s another objective of mine. I really want to compete at the ADCC. After my fight here I’ll stick around until Victor’s fight in the UFC and then I’ll head to San Diego for the Atos training camp at André Galvão’s academy. I’m hoping for an invite but, regardless, I’ll be training with the gang.

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