Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist Gilbert Burns scored his first knockout in the Octagon this month at UFC Pittsburgh, and it was an impressive finish.
Known for his submission skills on the ground, “Durinho" expected to tap Jason Saggo on Sept. 16, but the knockout blow came with five seconds left in the second round when Burns landed a vicious right hand that dropped Saggo out cold.
“I thought I’d submit this guy, man,” Burns told MMA Fighting. “I didn’t think he would avoid the ground game with me, but when I felt that his strategy was to stay on the feet, I started to feel more comfortable.
“He tried to be more aggressive in the end of the second round to win the round, and I decided to counter. When I saw the jab coming, I fired back and he went down.”
Saggo had never been knocked out in his MMA career before, but Burns knew it was over as soon as he the punch connected.
“When I saw that he was out, I didn’t even think about it, I just raised my arms and walked away. It was automatic, but it was pretty cool,” said Burns, who scored a one-punch knockout before in his career, but said it felt different doing it in the UFC.
“It was special. The UFC is the biggest event in the world, I was coming off a loss, a year since my last fight. I was anxious to fight again. He only had two losses in the UFC, a war with Paul Felder, who couldn’t knock him out, and the loss to that Russian guy (Rustam Khabilov). He’s tough, and knocking him out like that was pretty cool.”
Now back in the win column, and having recovered from a unanimous decision defeat to Michel Prazeres in September 2016, Durinho hopes to be return to action in December. In fact, he already has a couple of names in mind: Olivier Aubin-Mercier, who defeated Tony Martin at UFC Pittsburgh, and Stevie Ray, who recently lost to Felder.
“Because he’s a good grappler,” Burns said of why he wants to fight Aubin-Mercier next. “I tweeted at him but he said he doesn’t know if he will be ready for December. But I want to fight in December. It doesn’t need to be with him, no. Whoever it is. I saw that Stevie Ray was tweeting, asking for a fight too, so we’ll see.”
Hey @GilbertDurinho it would be a honor and a great challenge to fight you but I cant give you a answer for december yet— Olivier Aubin (@oliaubin) September 20, 2017
Speak to the boss man I'm getting ready for who ever— Steven Ray (@StevenRayMMA) September 21, 2017
“If I were the matchmaker, (Aubin-Mercier) is the fight I’d do because it’s an interesting match-up,” he continued. “When I ask for a fight I’m not only thinking about me and my career, I also consider if the fight will be interesting for the company and the fans as well. But is Olivier isn’t ready, Stevie Ray would be cool.”