Gilbert Burns Steps in to Face AJ Agazarm at ‘KASAI Pro 3’
Florida Natives Square Off August 18 at Manhattan Center’s Hammerstein Ballroom.
July 27, 2018 – New York City, NY – KASAI Elite Grappling Championships (KASAI) today confirms that Gilbert “Durinho” Burns will step in to face AJ Agazarm on Saturday, August 18 at ‘KASAI Pro 3’. He replaces Geo Martinez, who withdrew from the original bout citing a fractured arm.
The duo will compete in a 15-minute, submission-only contest at 170lbs. It is a rematch that is four years in the making, after the duo first tangled at the ADCC USA Florida Nationals in 2014.
“Gilbert was a natural choice to step in and face AJ on August 18,” said Rolles Gracie, KASAI President. “The combination of explosive physicality and technical finesse he brings to the mat is a recipe for fireworks, while AJ is eager for retribution. We can’t wait to see this battle between two fiercely competitive Floridians unfold under the bright lights of New York City.”
Burns, a second-degree black belt under Rafael Fofitio, is regarded as one of the top grappling lightweights of his generation. He won IBJJF world championships in gi and no-gi competition before turning his attention towards professional mixed martial arts. After amassing a 9-0 MMA record, he signed with the UFC in 2014 and has competed for them ever since.
Agazarm, 27, is an IBJJF Pan American, European and world no-gi champion at brown belt. A Gracie Barra student under Eduardo de Lima and Carlos Gracie Junior, he finished second at both the ADCCs and the IBJJF world no-gi championships in 2017.
In addition to Burns versus Agazarm, ‘KASAI Pro 3’ will also showcase a superfight between leg-lock savants Craig Jones and Rousimar Palhares, a technical clash between Gianni Grippo and Jon Calestine, as well as an eight-man no-gi tournament at 170lbs (77.1kg) to crown the first-ever KASAI World Welterweight Champion. The tournament will feature KASAI World Lightweight Champion Renato Canuto, Marcin Held, Vagner Rocha, PJ Barch, Masahiro Iwasaki, Michael Perez, Jason Rau and KASAI Pro Qualifier winner Matheus Lutes.
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KASAI Elite Grappling Championships (“KASAI”) is Jiu-Jitsu’s premier competitive promotion, hosting amateur and professional live events featuring most talented male and female grapplers from around the world. Founded in 2016, the organization is committed to developing competitive Jiu-Jitsu’s public profile and showcasing the sport’s best talent. KASAI’s leadership includes professionals with extensive backgrounds in martial arts, live event production, and strategic investment. For more information, visit www.kasaigrappling.com, or visit us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Aidan O’Connor, PR Manager, KASAI Elite Grappling Championships
Ken Gelman, COO, KASAI Elite Grappling Championships