Jorge Masvidal sat in the stands at UFC 42 20 years ago and was inspired to become a professional mixed martial artist. On Saturday, after a career with many highlights and signature performances, he walked away from the game in his words “as a multi-millionaire” following a defeat to Gilbert Burns in the co-main event of UFC 287 at the Kaseya Center in his hometown of Miami, Florida.
Judges had it 30-27 and 29-28 for Burns, who won but clearly didn’t score the kind of impressive win he said he wanted to get to blow away UFC president Dana White.
It was Masvidal’s fourth consecutive defeat and he didn’t have the fire that he showed throughout much of his career.
— UFC (@ufc) April 9, 2023
“Sometimes, your favorite basketball player can’t hit the 3-pointer any more,” Masvidal said. “Sometimes your favorite quarterback loses that rifle. I don’t feel the same when I get in here no more. It’s been 20 years. I love all of you. The UFC came here 20 years ago and it inspired me to chase this dream.”
He couldn’t pull the trigger on Saturday as much as he needed or wanted, and he struggled to defend the takedown. He won the first round on one judge’s card by catching Burns with a lot of kicks. In the second, Burns took Masvidal down early and kept him there most of the way.
In the third, Burns opened up and started catching Masvidal with clean, hard punches. Masvidal tried to fire back but his shots weren’t having an impact on Burns and Burns couldn’t miss in the third.
It was a big win for Burns, who was trying to be so dominant that White would give him the next shot at UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards. White said before the fight that nothing Burns could do would change his mind, and while Burns clearly won, he didn’t blow anyone away.
“I am the only guy in the division, maybe the only guy in the whole UFC, willing to fight anyone at any time,” Burns said.
Burns then called out both Edwards and Covington and said he’d fight them no matter the terms.
It was one of the biggest wins of his career and ran his winning streak to three in a row. He’s also won four of his last five.