Gilbert Durinho’s impeccable Worlds

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Durinho bursts with emotion. Photo: John Lamonica.

Through the tears, Gilbert “Durinho” Burns is really a very happy man. He is a Gi World Champion for the first time ever. Durinho won his lightweight division in a very dynamic and exciting match against Gracie Humaita’s Kron Gracie. When the referee raised his hand to signify his big win, Durinho fell to his knees crying with joy. “I feel so happy,” he says, “So very happy. My life is just Jiu-Jitsu. I trained so hard for this moment and now I am here. There are no words to describe how I feel. This is my dream.”

Durinho found some success in 2010, winning the Abu Dhabi Pro and the Worlds No Gi, but the Gi Worlds have eluded him until now. He came in second place at the Gi Worlds in 2009 and third in 2010. He says there were a lot of really tough guys in his division this year again, Kron Gracie being one of them. “My final with Kron was a rematch,” he says, “I fought him a month ago in Italy. We were in the finals and I started to play my game. I took him down and made a mistake. He choked me out.” Durinho says regardless of what happened last time, he believes in his game, so he played it again at the 2011 Worlds, but this time he made no mistakes.

Kron was on a roll, even finishing Leandro Lo. Photo: John Lamonica.

“Kron is a really nice guy,” Durinho says, “He’s a tough guy. I want to fight him again. Maybe at the ADCC No Gi. I’m hoping to get my invitation to go. Maybe we can have another rematch. It would be a good match to watch.”

Durinho likes to put on a show. He believes that the fans come to watch a good fight, and he’s committed to giving them one. “People like my style,” he says, “I like takedowns, I like to move fights forward. I don’t hold positions. I come to fight.” In some respects, Durinho doesn’t care if he wins or loses as long as people think he fought a great fight. “I like to be a champion for sure,” he laughs, “But I like it more that people enjoy my fights. I love to fight.”

At the Worlds, Durinho had five matches in his division. He won four by points and one by submission. He fought Lucas Lepri of Alliance and says, “It’s always close. He beat me at the 2008 Worlds. Then I beat him in 2009. He’s tough. This time I beat him by only two advantages.”

Next, he took on JT Torres from Lloyd Irvin. “He’s really tough,” Durinho says, “I took his back and got my hooks in. He had really hard grips. All American guys are so strong! I’ve fought JT three times. He beat me once.”

With a big Worlds championship title under his belt, Durinho says he doesn’t feel any pressure to win again. “It was my dream to become a world champion,” he says, “I like it that everyone will want to beat me now. It motivates me to train harder and win again.”

Durinho would like to thank everyone who helped him train, his sponsors, his teammates, and his girlfriend. “I’m the No-Gi Worlds champion,” he says, “Now I’m the Gi Worlds Champion. I just want one invitation to the ADCC No-Gi to fight again. I promise to give everyone a good show.”

Below, check out the interview and exclusive interview with reporter Deb Blyth, capturing all the emotions of the new champion:

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