Hometown boy Jorge Masvidal (35-16, 12-9 UFC) is set to take on Gilbert Burns (21-5, 14-5 UFC) in the co-main event of UFC 287 in Miami, Florida. The three-round bout happens April 8 and will warm up the crowd for an epic title fight rematch between Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya.
Burns, the fifth-ranked welterweight, is a heavy -450 favorite against 11th-ranked Masvidal, who goes in as a +350 underdog.
UFC 287: Gilbert Burns vs Jorge Masvidal Betting Odds
Odds as of March 31
Our odds calculator tells us Burns’ -450 odds translate to an implied win probability of 81.82 percent, and a $10 bet on him pays out a worthless $12.22. Masvidal’s odds equate to a 22.22 percent chance of victory with a $10 bet paying out $45.
UFC 287: Burns vs Masvidal Preview
The public has hammered the line on Burns, who opened as a -233 favorite. Now, the odds aren’t even close. MMA fans like Burns in this matchup. Let’s find out why.
What Burns Does Well
The Brazilian is durable, well-rounded and has battled the best at 170 pounds lately. “Durinho” dished out a proper beating on Neil Magny at UFC 283, finishing the veteran by first-round submission. Before that, it was an all-time war vs Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 273, where Burns dropped the Chechen but lost a close decision. Burns’ only two losses in the last five years have come against Chimaev and former champ Kamaru Usman. It’s very unlikely Masvidal upsets Burns.
Gilbert can make a big statement with a finish, though Masvidal, while no longer as explosive, is notoriously difficult to put away. Masvidal has a three-inch reach advantage, so he’ll want to keep the fight at range, meaning Burns’ best chance is to take a page out of Colby Covington’s book and wrestle “Gamebred” to death. Covington secured a whopping 16 minutes of control time at UFC 272 — Burns can do that at UFC 287, but he’s more likely to gun for a finish.
A stoppage is possible, sure, but if it doesn’t happen, the 36-year-old Burns shouldn’t stress about his game plan: takedown, wrestle, win.
What Masvidal Does Well
It’s been a hot minute since Masvidal fought someone with a jiu-jitsu pedigree like Burns. Masvidal might not get wrestle-bullied as he did vs Covington, but the Brazilian is far more likely to threaten with submissions. I trust Jorge’s survivability off his back, though his best route to victory is to keep this fight standing.
His 74 percent takedown defense has to hold up. From there, Masvidal will need to be creative. Burns is strong and explosive, but not always smart. A quick lead hook or an elbow on a clinch break could tilt the bout in Masvidal’s favor. If he stuns or knocks down Burns, he’ll need to be quick, as jumping into the Brazilian black belt’s guard, even if Burns is hurt, is a dangerous game.
Burns vs Masvidal Pick
Masvidal re-upped his contract with the UFC early last year, but my gut tells me retirement is on the horizon for the 38-year-old. If he loses to Burns at 287, he might just drop his gloves in the cage. With Jorge’s flame burning out and Burns looking hungrier than ever to get another title shot, I’m taking Gilbert in this one.
As I said earlier, it’s hard to put Masvidal away. My best bet will be Burns to win by decision, though depending on the value closer to the fight, a sprinkle on a stoppage victory could tickle my fancy.
Pick: Burns by decision (TBD); Fight Goes the distance (TBD); Value bet on burns inside the distance (TBD)
While you’re here, check out our other UFC 287 main card previews:
UFC 287: Full Card & Betting Odds
Odds as of March 31