UFC 287 is scheduled to take place Saturday, April 8 at the Kaseya Center (formerly Miami-Dade Arena) in Miami, Florida. The main event is a rematch for the UFC middleweight title between champion Alex Pereira and former champion Israel Adesanya. On the co-feature is a grudge match in the welterweight division between top-five contender Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal.
Burns (21-5) is proof that sometimes a loss can elevate a fighter almost as much as a win. “Durinho” had wins over Damien Maia, Gunnar Nelson and Tyron Woodley to earn a title shot against Kamaru Usman at UFC 258. Burns fought well early and had Usman hurt in the first round, but the then-welterweight champion fought back with a big second round and knocked Burns out in the third to retain.
From there it seemed like Burns was stuck in a gatekeeper role, especially when he was set up to fight rising star Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 273. Chimaev was an undefeated guy that had obliterated everyone put in front of him. Through one round it looked like he would do the same to Burns, but then Burns fought back and took Chimaev to the limit before losing a split decision. Despite the loss, Burns became a fan favorite with his toughness and determination. He returned to the octagon in January at UFC 283 and dispatched of Neil Magny by first-round submission.
Now Burns is a -475 favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook to beat Masvidal this Saturday and if he does there could be a title shot against current welterweight champion Leon Edwards waiting there for him.