The Book of Gilbert: Meet the Kill Cliff Fight Club Athlete - Kill Cliff

The Book of Gilbert: Meet the Kill Cliff Fight Club Athlete

 Kill Cliff Fight Club Athlete Gilbert Burns

The 35-year-old is a Brazilian mixed martial artist currently ranked No. 2 in the Welterweight division for the UFC. As a submission grappler, Burns is a three-time World Champion and World Cup gold medalist. We’ve collected a few things you might not know about the proud Kill Cliff Fight Clubber. Starting with…

How Did Gilbert Burns Get His Start?

Born in Rio de Janeiro to working class parents, Burns’ parents shared a piece of land in Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, with other members of the family. One day, a man reached out to rent their backyard as a site for karate classes which gave Burns his first glimpse into marital arts. Mind blown! When Burns was 12-years-old, his father offered to fix a customer’s car in exchange for three months of jiu-jitsu lessons for his boys. What a dad!

Could Gilbert Burns Afford a Taxi to Training?

No, he could not! Burns started training at Academia Associacão Oriente, an affiliate of Nova União. He trained with Nova until the 2007 World Championship, where he finished in second place. Burns walked 50 minutes to the training facility and 50 minutes home because he didn’t have the 25-cent fare for the bus. Update: He has the fare now…

Did Gilbert Burns Have Childhood Health Issues?

Did he ever. Little Gilbert suffered from respiratory issues growing up. He remembers having to go to the hospital multiple times to get a shot of adrenaline to help with his breathing starting as early as six months of age (although we find it hard to believe he can remember that. Still!). 

When Did Gilbert Burns Hit It Big?

In 2009, Burns became recognized when he won silver medal at the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Big international success followed as he began competing worldwide. 


Burns reached the semifinals of the European Open in 2010; he defeated favorite Celso Venicius at the World Pro Cup trials; he won the World Cup finals in Abu Dhabi against Claudio Mattos and also won the Brazilian Nationals. In 2011, Burns snagged the gold medal at the World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships. After that, he decided to turn to MMA.

Did Vitor Belfort Mentor Gilbert Burns?

Yes! Burns met MMA heavyweight and middleweight fighter Vitor Belfort, who later became his mentor and close friend. He taught Burns how to punch and complete knockouts. One day, a promoter walked into his gym looking for an amateur fighter to replace a man who had dropped out of an upcoming fight. He asked Burns if he would be interested and was he ever! Burns was on his way to his first MMA fight (which he won). He turned pro after and made his professional debut in January 2012.

Is Gilbert Burns the Fighter Who Cries?

Yes, and there is NO shame in that. Burns has cried after various televised matches, turning him into somewhat of a MMA meme. Known as a very emotional guy, Burns works with a psychologist to keep his emotions under control.

Could Mrs. Burns Kick Your Ass?

Oh, yes. Who is Gilbert Burns married to? Burns married Bruna Burns in August 2012. Like Gilbert, Bruna is also a Jiu-Jitsu expert and has a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu. She currently works as a coach at the Academy Combat Club. Gilbert even has underwear with his wife’s face on it, if that’s not TMI. He called it his “lucky one” before a fight. 

What Is Gilbert Burns’ Nickname? Where Does It Come From?

Gilbert Burns’ nickname is Durinho, which means “tiny tough guy.” Not just anyone could call him that, it had to be his brothers Herbert and Frederick who tagged him with that name when training at Nova as teenagers. He’s OK with it.

He’s on Insta

Feel free to connect: @gilbert_burns


Height: 5’10”

Weight: 170lbs

Association: Sanford MMA

Class: Welterweight

Burns has two brothers Herbert and Frederick. Both are blackbelts and Herbert Burns, is also a UFC fighter. 

Tested positive for COVID-19 in July 2020 and drove 45 hours to Florida from Las Vegas with his coaches to keep quarantined. 

Burns has two children, Pedro and Joshua.