This past Saturday night in the co-main event of UFC 287, we saw a pivotal matchup in the welterweight division. Former title challengers battled it out as Jorge Masvidal (35-17) took on Gilbert “Durinho” Burns (22-5).
Burns was coming off a dominant win against Neil Magny back in January while this was the first time we’d seen Masvidal in over a year. Masvidal had lost three fights in a row, but with an impressive victory, would’ve been right back in the title picture.
The opening round was very close between the two men with Masvidal getting the better of things. A patient Masvidal really worked his kicks in the first round while Burns was just feeling things out. He came on strong lately and even landed a big takedown. The first could’ve gone to either man.
In the second, Burns really leaned on the wrestling and controlled Masvidal for the majority of the round. The two men stood and trade in the third with Burns’ speed giving Masvidal problems. Masvidal did land some shots, but Burns was in control and hurt Masvidal a number of times.
In the end, it was clear who the winner was. Burns got the decision win at UFC 287 which is two wins already this year for the former title challenger.
What’s next after UFC 287?
After the win, Burns called for a shot at the welterweight title. Dana White has been very clear that Colby Covington would be getting the next shot at Leon Edwards despite Edwards not agreeing with that decision. It sounds like Burns has no issue with that plan.
In fact, at the post-fight press conference, Burns said he’d be the backup fighter for that UFC title shot. He also said he doesn’t want to fight anyone else next outside of whoever is champion. Belal Muhammad is worthy of being in that discussion, but it looks like the UFC is looking at Kamaru Usman or Shavkat Rakhmonov for him.
Usman makes the most sense and that’s the fight he wants. Perhaps the promotion goes in the direction of having Burns fight Rakhmonov next? Burns’ company guy mentality would likely have him accept that bout if that’s what’s offered. If the promotion doesn’t see him getting a title shot after the back-up attempt, I think Rakhmonov makes the most sense.