The great Brazilian fighter won his second victory in a row with a dominating performance.
The co-headline fight of the evening attracted huge public attention ahead of the UFC 287 event. Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal were paired at the event in Miami. Jorge is in the eyes of many the “King of Miami”, while Gilbert Burns is a Brazilian who has lived in Florida for a long time and performed in some way on the “home field”. Of course, Masvidal enjoyed more support from the crowd, but when the cage doors were locked, the crowd’s support was secondary, and the focus was on the skills of two excellent welterweights.
It was expected that Burns would quickly look for a fight on the ground, but “Durinho” relaxed into the confrontation in the stand. With a nice combination of front and back straight, he hit Masvidal after a little more than a minute and a half of the first round, and Jorge entered the match a bit more reserved. In the middle of the round, we saw the first more specific combination of Masvidal, and he ended it with a good right “low kick”. We didn’t see much action in the first round, even though it took place in the standings. Burns scored several times cleanly with a straight right and a hook and ended the round with knockdown and several shots from the top position. With that, he took the first round against the reserved Masvidal.
Burns started the second round explosively, got in Masvidal’s face and with a few quick punches he even sent Masvidal to the ground briefly. It was Masvidal’s loss of balance, not a classic knockdown. Burns continued to press, entered a double leg takedown, lifted Masvidal high and threw him to the floor. “Durinho” found himself in the closed guard of Jorge Masvidal and actually had a very comfortable position if I take into account that Burns is a master of the ground floor. Masvidal was well closed defensively, he kept a tight guard and the referee asked for more action from Burns on a couple of occasions. Masvidal managed to get up two minutes before the end of the round, he did a good “scramble”, but Burns did not separate from him and soon came to another knockdown. The second round gave us something similar to what we saw in the match between Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal. Burns dominated from top position for most of the second round. Masvidal managed to get up a minute before the end of the round, and he separated only about 30 seconds before the end of the round. Both fighters seemed a bit tired, and in one open exchange near the end of the round, both managed to land a clean right hook. Burns, however, took the second round cleanly and cruised to his second straight victory.
Masvidal needed a stoppage in the third round to avoid a fourth straight loss. Henri Hooft advised Burns to continue to stick to his tactics and that his only task was to win this match. With that, the coach tried to keep Burns from engaging in unnecessary open exchanges. Burns didn’t immediately look for a takedown, but Masvidal didn’t look like a fighter in need of a break either. He threw a few “low kicks”, but he didn’t really engage in open exchanges. Two minutes into the third round, Burns throws a great combination of front and back. Masvidal was visibly shaken, although with his gestures he tried to give the impression that Burns did not threaten him. The Brazilian started to dominate in the stand, but Masvidal also woke up and connected several good boxing combinations. Burns continued to press, he seemed significantly fresher and was hitting Masvidal with “bombs”. It looked like Burns might even get a knockout victory. Masvidal was not even a shadow of the fighter he was at the peak of his career. The explosiveness is gone, and with it the knockout power he once possessed. 70 seconds before the end, Burns got a knockdown, which only confirmed his dominance and routinely won.
He controlled Burns Masvidal almost until the very end of the fight and it was clear that he would win by unanimous decision of the judges. Burns was better in all three rounds, and he dominated Masvidal in every segment of the fight. Two judges awarded all three rounds to Burns, while one judge scored the match 29-28. It is truly unclear which round Masvidal could have won in the eyes of the licensed judges.
Jorge was expected to be the more dangerous stand-up fighter, but his time has clearly passed, while Burns seems never more confident. From the edge Burns steps towards a new attack on the title, and this is his second victory in a row.
At the beginning of the year, he went through Neil Magny with ease and finished him with a “submission” in the first round. Two and a half months later, he also defeated Masvidal, and now he is probably only one win away from attacking the title. He entered this match as the fifth-ranked welterweight challenger, and after the fight he announced.
“I may even be the only fighter within the UFC who is ready to fight anyone, anytime. Leone Edwards or Colby Covington, I’m ready to fight and I won’t agree to anything but an attack on the title”, Durinho said, and he also paid respect to Masvidal, whom he called the “King of Miami” and the man who is responsible for the return of the UFC to Miami after 20 long years.
Joe Rogan then came to Jorge Masvidal who took off his gloves. “Gamebred” pointed out that his career has been going on for 20 years, but that he simply doesn’t feel the same inside the cage anymore.
”I hope that I have inspired someone, no matter what field it was. I’m a multi-millionaire now and I’m insured for the rest of my life,” said Masvidal, and before throwing his gloves into the audience, he gave a short speech in which he touched on politics. He complimented Donald Trump, calling him “the best president”, and Trump watched everything from the front row, sitting right next to Dana White.
Jorge Masvidal calls it a career at #UFC287 👏 pic.twitter.com/3bWvUsVXWL
— ESPN (@espn) April 9, 2023
So we witnessed the end of a great career. “Gamebred” made as many as 52 professional appearances, and recorded 35 victories in his career. He won 16 times by knockout, and shared the arenas with almost all the greats of his era.
The year 2019 marked the peak of his career. Masvidal recorded three stoppage victories within that calendar year, defeating Darren Till, Ben Askren and Nate Diaz respectively. He knocked out Askren with a “flying knee” after only five seconds of the fight and still holds the record for the fastest knockout in UFC history. In the match against Nate Diaz, he was crowned with the “BMF” title, which is a fictional title for “The Baddest Guy in the World”.
Masvidal then fought twice for the UFC title, but Kamaru Usman was better on both occasions. Defeats against Colby Covington and Gilbert Burns followed, and it is obvious that Masvidal can no longer compete with the best.
Let him enjoy his retirement, he deserved it!