Gilbert Burns added another impressive victory to his already impressive record at UFC 287, in what turned out to be Jorge Masvidal’s last fight. Masvidal announced his retirement from the sport after a unanimous decision went against him. The two fighters embraced each other after the fight, with Masvidal telling Burns to “go get that belt” as he bid farewell to his career.
Masvidal thanked the Miami fans, where he had started his 20-year fighting career, and reflected on his journey. While Burns had secured the win, he did not forget to pay homage to his opponent, who he referred to as a “king from this city.”
Burns then redirected his focus to the welterweight title immediately, stating that he would be willing to fight anyone at any time, including Colby Covington and Leon Edwards, whoever was holding the belt.
The fight started with a lot of caution from both fighters, waiting for the other to make a mistake. Masvidal initiated the leg kicks which proved effective in taking some shine off Burns’ foundation. However, Burns made use of his overhand right, which proved vital in cracking Masvidal open a few times.
Burns finished the first round strongly with a late takedown, before unleashing several hammer fists on his grounded opponent. In the second round, Burns continued his onslaught with a well-timed uppercut that sent Masvidal to the canvas briefly, before slamming him back down again.
Masvidal’s guard hardly posed a threat to Burns, who was busy finding openings to punch. Despite the Miami crowd’s restlessness, Burns kept piling on the pressure, with a series of punishing right-hand punches that had Masvidal on the ropes.
Burns then switched to grappling again, taking Masvidal down and hitting him with short punches and elbows. Going into the final round, Burns proved too slick with his left lead followed by a powerful right, which repeatedly hurt Masvidal throughout the fight.
Masvidal was backed up against the cage several times as Burns unleashed a barrage of right-hand punches. Burns then returned to grappling, which proved successful, as he was able to take Masvidal down again and deliver more punishment.
Despite Belal Muhammad lurking around as a possible challenger for Burns, he made a compelling case to challenge for the title. With Leon Edwards and Colby Covington set to face off, the Brazilian fighter might just get the chance he deserves.