UFC & MMA Betting

Burns vs Masvidal Prediction: Could UFC 287 Co-Main Event Steal the Show on Saturday?



Despite the highly anticipated rematch between champion Alex Pereria and Israel Adesanya headlining the card at UFC 287 in Miami this Saturday night, no fighter will get a bigger pop from the fans in attendance than Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal. Chances are, his make or break contest with Gilbert Burns could well steal the show.

Both Burns and Masvidal have come close to UFC gold before but have fallen at the final hurdle. The winner of the co-main event will propel themselves straight back into the conversation for the next shot at champion Leon Edwards, especially with no clear #1 contender standing out at this moment in time.

Let’s break down this must-see matchup and offer our Burns vs Masvidal prediction:

Gilbert Burns Preview: Time for ‘Durinho’ to Shine?

Burns has been close to the peak of the mountain before, losing to Kamaru Usman in the main event of UFC 258 back in February 2021. The 36 year-old responded with a dominant decision victory over Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson just five months later, before losing a back and forth battle to rising superstar Khamzat Chimaev. 

The Chimaev decision could have gone either way, but nonetheless stunted the rise of ‘Durinho’ into title contention. With a chip on his shoulder, Burns made a statement against veteran Neil Magny, submitting the American in the very first round.

Burns looks better than he ever has and is not only one of the most well-rounded fighters in the Welterweight division, but in the entire UFC. The Brazilian can start fast and end the fight quickly, as shown through a first round KO victory over Demian Maia in 2020 and his slick submission finish of Magny back in January. 

Gilbert has a deep gas tank and can take his opponents into the deep waters of the later rounds without seemingly losing much energy or showing signs of fatigue. With an iron chin and cardio for days, Burns will fancy his chances against the 38-year-old Masvidal.

Jorge Masvidal Preview: Now or Never for ‘Gamebred’

Heading into his 52nd professional fight, Jorge Masvidal admitted to the UFC cameras on the UFC 287 version of ‘countdown’ that a loss in this bout could lead to his retirement. 

Masvidal has been a fan favourite for years and with good reason. Ask the regular UFC their favourite knockout and a common answer would be Jorge’s five second flying knee finish to Ben Askren at UFC 239. A knockout so fast that it holds the UFC record for quickest victory and may never be beaten.

Jorge, however, is on a three-fight losing streak. Two losses to Kamaru Usman, including a devastating KO at UFC 261 were compounded by a unanimous decision loss to bitter rival Colby Convington. A loss on Saturday could all but end the BMF title holder’s chances of another Welterweight title opportunity. 

Burns vs Masvidal Prediction: Who Will Win the UFC 287 Co-Main Event?

Masvidal comes into this fight as one of the biggest underdogs on the card despite the hometown advantage, and it’s not difficult to see why.

Burns has a high intensity, heavy grappling approach that is very similar to Colby Convington, which Masvidal struggled with severely at UFC 272. Burn’s grappling may not be as polished as Covington’s, but ‘Durinho’ will offer more danger on the feet with powerful striking potential. 

However, standing and exchanging with Masvidal is where Burns will face the most danger. Expect regular level changes, takedown attempts and clinch work against the fence to try and tire out his opponent. Masvidal must avoid this if he stands a chance of causing the upset, and it will be difficult against the crafty veteran in Burns.

At range, Masvidal can set up his power shots with feints and head movement, but his sprinting attacks, whether punches or knees, can be immobilised with Burns’ world class takedown ability. If separating from the clinch or at close proximity against the fence, Jorge must take advantage of the brief moments Burns takes to recover his breath.

This Is Gilbert Burns’ Fight to Lose at UFC 287

Gilbert Burns is the favourite for a reason, and thus it is difficult to choose against him in our Burns vs Masvidal prediction. This fight will answer a lot of burning questions; does Masvidal have enough left in the tank to mount one final charge at the welterweight title? Is this the best version of Gilbert Burns we have seen to date? How much will the home-town Miami crowd influence the fight? 

Home advantage or not, Burns is a dangerous opponent for Masvidal, and even more so now that Durinho has the chip on his shoulder after his heart-breaking decision loss to Khamzat Chimaev. We predict a three-fight losing skid for Masvidal will become a fourth against Burns, and we could well see ‘Gamebred’ removing his gloves and setting them on the floor of the octagon on Saturday night. 

In MMA, very few careers end with the romantic justice they deserve, but even with a loss, going out in front of an adoring Miami crowd would be a fitting end to a sensational career for Jorge Masvidal. 

Bren Gray is our resident Kiwi, and has been writing about sports since he could first string words together.