The answer is no if Gilbert Burns wants a five-round fight with Jorge Masvidal for the BMF belt at UFC 287.
Unless the UFC wants to renegotiate the deal Masvidal just signed, “Gamebred” is good with a three-round co-main on April 8.
“[If] They pay me BMF money. The UFC ain’t going to increase it up for any more money. So sorry Gilbert,” Masvidal stated Monday on The MMA Hour. I already signed my contract. “I already signed my s ***. I could give a f*** less.”
A few hours before Masvidal’s interview, Burns pitched the idea to UFC President Dana White, including a picture of the silver BMF belt Masvidal fought Nate Diaz for almost three years ago at UFC 244.
Come on @danawhite April 8 has to be 5 rounds! It’s your turn! Everybody knows It’s only one guy in the @ufc that fights ANYONE! #ufc287 pic.twitter.com/XRYhB2phLP
— GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) January 30, 2023
Masvidal’s TKO win over Diaz was another star-making moment. But Masvidal doesn’t need that bump any more. Masvidal needs to win fights and believes Burns is the best opponent to end his three-fight slide, which began with two losses to Kamaru Usman, now former champ.
“Three round is all I have for Gilbert,” he stated. He said, “I love all of the publicity that he puts into it. But brother, I only need three rounds for that .”
Burns is fresh off an impressive submission win over vet Neil Magny at UFC 283. After Masvidal had repeatedly rejected several offers, Burns booked the bout.
Masvidal acknowledged he was held up by several distractions that included his ongoing criminal case with Colby Covington, several injury and health issues, and lack of time to prepare.
Now, Masvidal has a better position and is trying to fill in the gaps left by his opponents.
“I am glad that Gilbert is here. Masvidal stated that he has been involved in this sport for a long time and only had to compete with the very best. “I know he’s going to talk a big game that he’s going to come and strike with me and all this BMF s***, but at the end of the day, I’m ‘Gamebred,’ he’s Gilbert, he’s going to go for the takedown, 100 miles per hour and hope that he gets in, and if that fails, he’ll come strike with me.
“So I’m going to be prepared to grapple him, and the next and the next and the next, because I know I’ve got the hands to beat all these guys. I’ve got the knees and elbows that change lives in seconds. I’ve just got to fine-tune a couple things, and I’ve been working on it.”
Masvidal fell short to Covington in their UFC 272 grudge match when he was unable to match the one-time interim champ’s frenetic pace and grappling skills. But the welterweight division’s recent shift opened a door to close out his career in triumph.
If Leon Edwards is able to defeat Kamaru Usman a second time at UFC 286, Masvidal could cash in his longstanding grudge with the British champ in the octagon.
“If you ask me, 100 percent I think it happens,” Masvidal said. “I think that’s just the way it was meant to be. That’s how it’s lined up, and from there, I’ve got a lot of other fights. But we’ll [cross] that bridge when I get there.
“But, why not have faith in it? And if it doesn’t happen, whatever, f*** it. My ass was still up for whatever fight is next. I will fight one, two, or more bouts, but I want to be in the best position to win. I want to stack all the chips on my side.”
Standing in the way of that dream is Burns. Masvidal was chosen by the Brazilian as his springboard to his bid to win another chance at gold, after he failed to beat Usman. Masvidal will need to present his case.
“It is nothing personal,” he stated. Gilbert is a good friend of mine. Somebody tells me Gilbert is fighting, I’ll sit down and watch that motherf***** on my phone. He comes to fight. I remember when Gilbert came in and was just a jiu-jitsu guy, hugging people, he was like nervous, then he came up to 170 and started laying people out. He’s a great fighter, and I think he’s going to be a great fighter for a while, even after me.
“But on April 8, I’m going to clean his clock. On April 8, I’m going to beat the brakes off that dude. You know what? He will pull up at the drive-thru and get exactly the same as Leon after I reach Gilbert. And you know what, maybe [Usman] gets another foot to the face … and then I’m fighting Leon. This is a movie ending. You couldn’t even put this in a movie, and now all these book deals that they’ve been sending me, movies they’ve been sending me, ’10x that, motherf*****! You can’t talk to me. Forget last week’s deal, this is this today’s deal, motherf*****!'”