UFC 287: Gilbert Burns Wins Decision, Jorge Masvidal Retires in Hometown of Miami

Jorge Masvidal retires following his UFC 287 fight with Gilbert Burns
MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 08: Jorge Masvidal battles Gilbert Burns of Brazil in a welterweight fight during the UFC 287 event at Kaseya Center on April 08, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

When UFC 287 was booked for the first UFC show in Miami in twenty years, the reason was clear. Welterweight star Jorge Masvidal was coming towards the end of his career and the promotion just had to have him on an event in his hometown before he retired.

Despite his three-fight losing streak, Masvidal remained one of the most popular fighters in the sport, a superstar able to draw audiences who are not usually MMA fans. But Gilbert Burns earned the world’s respect by going to war with Khamzat Chimaev, and was not slowing down like Masvidal seemed to be.

Even though Burns was ranked fifth in the welterweight division and was fighting the eleventh ranked fighter, the name value of Masvidal was such that he knew a win here would be huge for his career.

When the fight underway the pair felt each other out for a minute as cheers from Jorge’s hometown Miami crowd rained down upon them. Burns began to press forward behind the jab, but neither opened up much. Gilbert landed a right hand, Jorge landed a leg kick, and the halfway point of the round passed. Masvidal landed mostly low kicks, consistently, and did well to keep from being cornered against the fence by using lateral movement.

With ninety seconds left Burns opened up more, throwing some monster overhands, which missed, and landing a body kick. Perhaps there was some surprise that Gilbert had not shot a takedown so far but he and Jorge were trading evenly in the last minute of the round. Burns was more successful with pressure in the latter stage of the round. With only five seconds in the round Burns landed a takedown and both men threw hammerfists at each other till the bell, even though Jorge was on his back.

After having success with the takedown at the end of round one it remained to be seen if Burns would be more insistent with his grappling in round two. Burns came out aggressively and made Jorge stumble and fall down in the first ten seconds of round two. Burns then got in on a double leg, lifted Masvidal, and threw him to the floor. Gilbert settled on top in full guard. Jorge tried to fight off his back by thrashing around and punching, but was warned for strikes to the back of the head.

Burns was unable to find room to land many strikes but he did land some in Jorge’s closed guard as Jorge tried to lock down his foe. Jorge slowly scooted back to the fence but Gilbert was able to maintain a rear body-lock when Jorge tried a Granby roll. Burns mat returned him and used the leg ride to control Masvidal back to the mat. However, Masvidal got up once more but could still not separate until thirty seconds were left. The pair traded right hands in the closing moments of round two, a clear Burns round.

The final round in a massive fight opened with a headkick from Burns that almost landed flush. Burns seemed somewhat content to hold onto his lead but popped a couple jabs through Jorge’s guard even as Masvidal landed low kicks on Gilbert. Still, the pace was once again slow. Burns began to pick it up after two minutes and landed a big right that stumbled Jorge. Masvidal simply called Burns on even more though, and then Gilbert let off the gas momentarily. He was able to hurt Masvidal again with big right hands and had the hometown fighter trapped against the cage for a while, but Jorge once again fought back to the center.

The pair both began to have success landing but then Burns ducked in on a takedown attempt which failed but left him in an outside clinch position against the cage. Gilbert tripped Masvidal and settled in top side control where he dropped hard elbows with one minute left. Jorge got to a hip but was stuck against the fence. Gilbert got on his back as the fight drew to a close but Jorge ended the fight trying to turn and come up on a single leg.

The fight went to a decision, somewhat surprisingly, but it seemed that Burns had won at least two rounds and that was proven true as all three judges gave the fight to Burns, who called for a title shot in his post-fight interview.

When Joe Rogan interviewed Jorge Masvidal, the Miami native already had his gloves off. He talked about how he started his career in Miami and so it was only fitting to end it there. After twenty long years, Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal threw one of his final UFC gloves into the stands, but held onto the other as he walked out of the octagon for presumably the last time, holding his son in his arms.

“I don’t feel the same when I get in here no more. It’s been 20 long years. I love all of you,” Masvidal said in announcing his retirement. “UFC came here 20 years ago, and it inspired me to chase this dream for 20 years. 50-something fights later, hopefully I inspired somebody here to go fight for theirs, no matter what it is.”

Official Result: Gilbert Burns def. Jorge Masvidal by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 20-28)