Masvidal, who holds a record of 35-16, spoke with former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping ahead of his co-main event welterweight clash with Gilbert Burns at UFC 287 on April 8.
At 38 years old, Masvidal knows that if he loses to “Durniho” in Miami, Florida, his road back to title contention would be a long one. It would be his fourth defeat in a row and considering he’s already had two attempts at becoming the 170-pound champion, “Gamebred” said he’d likely retire with a loss while in front of his home crowd.
Bisping brought up the question about retirement because Masvidal hinted at it during the promotion’s “UFC 287 Countdown.” “That’s a lot of pressure you’re putting on yourself there, Jorge,” Bisping said.
“Yes, no, Mike,” Masvidal said in the video uploaded to Bisping’s YouTube channel. “I’ve been at it for 20 years and it’s like, I’ve got four losses in a row. And I think honest in my heart, I never would’ve lost to Gil in my prime. So, can I still compete at that level? I think it’s the perfect guy to see that because I’ve not done well with wrestlers that are wrestlers that have a good pedigree in wrestling, they have… hundreds of matches in that division or able to put me in those spots consistently — I haven’t done that well.
“But, against a jiu-jitsu guy like Gilbert, I’ve always feel like I’ve always matched up well with those guys. And I feel like I can walk away with my hand raised 10 years ago, today, 10 years from now against that stylist matchup. It’s no diss on Gilbert, I just think his style is very favorable for me.”
Masvidal Acknowledged His Age and the Number of Years He’s Been Competing as a Pro
UFC 287 will be “Gamebred’s” 52nd professional contest, as well as his 21st match as a UFC athlete. With Masvidal’s age and the wear and tear that his body has gone through over the course of his 20-year career, Masvidal may find Saturday night the perfect time to ride off into the sunset.
“If it doesn’t go my way, man, at the end of the day when am I going to call it quits?” Masvidal continued. “I know I don’t act like I’m 38, but I am 38 and I’ve been doing it since I’m 18. Which is something that I’m not trying to think about.
“But, there’s a big chance I could call it quits if things don’t go my way that night.”
Masvidal Wants a Title Fight With a Victory
On the other hand, if Gamebred gets through Burns, he’s hoping to receive his third crack at UFC gold. Burns is ranked No. 5 in the division and considering Masvidal and welterweight champion Leon Edwards got into a physical altercation backstage at a UFC London event in 2019, the storyline is there for Gamebred.
Masvidal remains one of the biggest stars in the sport, and he’ll hope to leverage that to leapfrog Colby Covington, the fighter who UFC president Dana White guaranteed a title shot to. But first, Masvidal must defeat “Durinho.”