Dana White attributes the transformation of Jorge Masvidal’s career to the historic flying knee incident that led to his retirement

Throughout his career, Jorge Masvidal was often overlooked despite his undeniable talent in combat sports. However, Masvidal retired as a true superstar following his final fight against Gilbert Burns at UFC 287. While the 38-year-old veteran lost by unanimous decision, he had no regrets, stating that he had gone from having nothing to becoming a multi-millionaire through his fighting career.

Although Masvidal has been competing professionally for 20 years, it wasn’t until 2019, when he achieved back-to-back knockouts over Darren Till and Ben Askren, that he became a massive draw in the sport. In particular, his five-second flying knee knockout of Askren made Masvidal a household name and secured him the fastest knockout in UFC history.

According to UFC President Dana White, that spectacular finish changed Masvidal’s life. It also led him to his next fight, headlining the UFC 244 pay-per-view against Nate Diaz to crown the first-ever champion, with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson presenting the title to the winner.

Masvidal dominated the fight, and the ringside doctor called a stop to the action after the third round because Diaz had suffered too much damage to continue. Despite not winning another fight after UFC 244, Masvidal still headlined three more UFC events, including two title fights against Kamaru Usman.

Ahead of his final fight against Burns, Masvidal had already hinted at the possibility of retiring, and White believes he made the right decision. White commended Masvidal for his financial stability, which will provide for his family for many years to come.

Aside from fighting, Masvidal has also been busy promoting events under his Gamebred Boxing label. White was impressed with Masvidal’s promotion of an event that featured ex-UFC champion Anthony Pettis in the main event against Roy Jones Jr.

Although White did not enjoy seeing a 54-year-old Jones lose to Pettis by majority decision, he praised Masvidal’s production and the good fights on the undercard. White was particularly impressed with the replay production of the event.

Despite Masvidal’s retirement from fighting, he is expected to continue his involvement in the sport through his Gamebred Boxing label. Nevertheless, Masvidal has left an indelible legacy on combat sports, transforming himself from an underappreciated fighter to a true superstar.


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