Jorge Masvidal made an important statement following his loss to Gilbert Burns on Saturday night at UFC 287. After over a year off from fighting, he needed a win over a ranked contender to climb back into the picture for a major title fight. He stated before the fight that if he lost, there was a good chance he would retire.
Following a lopsided defeat, Masvidal did just that, telling commentator Joe Rogan that he was hanging up his gloves for good. He will conclude a career in the cage that saw him go 35-17 and emerge as one of the sport’s most colorful, controversial, and recognizable stars.
At 38 years of age, Jorge Masvidal was coming off a long stretch of rehabilitation, following several injuries. He hadn’t fought for nearly a year after a loss to rival Colby Covington at UFC 272. In that span, he was also arrested for assaulting Covington outside of a restaurant in Miami. That trial has been postponed until May.
Some of his most noteworthy accomplishments included being a part of the UFC ‘Fight of the Night’ on three different occasions. Masvidal also holds the record for the fastest knockout (5 seconds) again Ben Askren in 2019.
However, considering his age, accumulation of injuries, and the fact that he’s lost his last four fights, it was probably a wise decision for Gamebred to walk away now. He did so in his own, special way on Saturday night.
But that wasn’t the only statement that the veteran UFC star made at the event. During his post-match interview, Jorge Masvidal acknowledged a special guest who was in the house. Then, he encouraged his hometown Miami crowd to join him.
Former President Donald Trump was in attendance for the card, as a guest of UFC President Dana White. Masvidal has made no secret of his admiration for Number 45 in the past. He’s defended the former Commander-in-Chief in recent statements regarding Trump’s criminal indictment in New York.
Masvidal made sure that he reiterated his point, stating that Donald Trump was the “greatest president in the history of the world.”
He then went on to praise Florida governor Ron DeSantis, “We also got the greatest governor of all time here in Florida. Let’s keep Florida free, a red state. And let’s take that you know who, let’s go Brandon f*** out of of power and replace him.” He then started a “Let’s Go Brandon” chant.
The Cuban-Peruvian fighter made a name for himself on several different levels before finding ultimate stardom in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. In many ways a ‘late bloomer,’ he toiled through the ranks of both Strikeforve and Bellator before becoming a permanent fixture on the UFC roster in 2013.
Over the course of the next ten years, Jorge Masvidal gained a reputation as a gritty fighter who would rather go down than back down. It endeared him to the audience, along with his outlandish personality. Eventually, he became one of the faces of the promotion.
While his future is unclear, he will have to face the charges stemming from the Covington incident right away. Masvidal has pled not guilty to charges of aggravated battery.
During the incident, the rival fighter claims that Masvidal attacked him as he left an establishment in Miami Beach, causing multiple injuries. Proceedings are set to resume next month, but it’s not expected that Masvidal will serve jail time for events stemming from the confrontation.