UFC 287 Preview: Gilbert Burns – Jorge Masvidal

Tomorrow night in the co-main event at UFC 287 we are going to see a grudge match between two former welterweight title challengers. The BMF Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal (35-16) fights in front of his home city as he takes on Gilbert “Durinho” Burns (21-5).

For Burns, this is a pretty quick turnaround as he just fought back in January. In front of his native Brazil, Burns ran through Neil Magny and submitted him in the first round. It was a really solid bounce back performance after his loss to Khamzat Chimaev last April.

Since moving up to welterweight from lightweight, Burns has been one of the best in the world. Since moving up to 170, Burns has gone 6-2 in eight fights. The lone losses came against former long-time champ Kamaru Usman and Chimaev.

Another man who saw a greater success at 170 than 155 is his opponent tomorrow night. After having an average career in the UFC, Jorge Masvidal took some time off after his loss to Stephen Thompson in 2017. He came back and fought Darren Till in England.

That night, he knocked out Till and his star began to take off. He then knocked out Ben Askren in a record 5 seconds before defeating Nate Diaz. Those three wins earned him two cracks at Kamaru Usman. In both fights he came up short. We haven’t seen Gamebred since last March when he lost to Colby Covington.

UFC 287 Prediction

Make no mistake about it, Jorge Masvidal needs a win tomorrow night in the worst way. He even acknowledged this week that if he doesn’t defeat Burns at UFC 287, he’s likely hanging up the gloves. His only goal is the welterweight title and at 38-years-old, a fourth straight loss would be devastating.

So, how can Gamebred get it done? It’s going to come down to his boxing and ability to keep the fight on the feet. Masvidal has very good boxing and he also has very powerful kicks. Although, he’ll probably be more hesitant to throw kicks to avoid grappling exchanges.

Masvidal needs to keep this fight long and needs to let his hands go. Burns is going to be the faster of the two, but he leaves openings that Masvidal can take advantage of. Masvidal doesn’t have to be perfect to win, but his boxing and timing has to be on point.

For Burns, he’s got the power and speed to his Masvidal. We’ve seen Masvidal dropped and hurt by multiple guys. However, his best path to victory is going to be on the ground. I’m expecting a very heavy wrestling attack from Gilbert Burns tomorrow night.

We saw what Colby Covington was able to do last March just like we saw what Kamaru Usman did on Fight Island. You can negate Gamebred if you force him to clinch and grapple. Regardless of what Burns says, he knows what this fight means and he’s going to fight smart.

I’m expecting the boo birds to be out in full effect tomorrow night. Gilbert Burns is going to win a decision mixing between his striking volume and heavy grappling control.

Prediction: Gilbert Burns by Decision

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