In the co-main event of UFC 287, we are going to see an absolute banger in the welterweight division. Former title challengers will battle it out as Gilbert “Durinho” Burns (21-5) takes on the promotion’s BMF Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal (35-16).
Make no mistake about it, there’s going to be one man with the massive crowd advantage on Saturday night. That will be Miami’s own Jorge Masvidal. Masvidal will fight in front of his hometown and the stakes have never been bigger for Masvidal.
Heading into Saturday night, Gamebred has lost three fights in a row. He lost a short-notice title fight against Kamaru Usman. The two men ran things back with proper training camps which resulted in Usman knocking Masvidal out cold.
Then, Masvidal fought and lost a lopsided decision to Colby Covington last March. Despite the losses, the 38-year-old Masvidal has remained focused on his ultimate goal which is to win the UFC welterweight title. That said, he recognizes that Saturday night is likely a win or retire kind of fight.
UFC 287 could be it for the BMF
In the Countdown to UFC 287 episode which debuted over the weekend, Masvidal acknowledged that his career would likely end with a loss. Masvidal said, “If I lose, I’m pretty much calling it quits. But a win against Gilbert means that things are headed in the right direction. So if I roll the dice and do everything right, I’m going for it all.”
It’s easy to understand where Masvidal’s mind is at. Masvidal has always been clear that he never envisioned himself being someone that fights into his 40’s. At 38, the clock is ticking on him to reach his ultimate goal of becoming UFC welterweight champion.
A loss to Burns would be four in a row and would put him back far in the rankings. It would require multiple wins and at least one year before he would be back in the title picture. At this stage, it doesn’t appear that Gamebred has any interest in that.
So with that in mind, the stakes have been raised significantly on Saturday night. Not only is this just a massive fight for the welterweight division, but it’s also a career fight for Masvidal in front of his hometown. No matter what, drama will be high in Miami.