Jorge Masvidal opens up on UFC 287 retirement: ‘I’m not there anymore, I’ve lost that step’

Jorge Masvidal

Jorge Masvidal opened up about his decision to retire from mixed martial arts following his fourth-straight loss inside the Octagon.

After more than a year on the shelf, ‘Gamebred’ returned to the cage on Saturday night for a high-stakes welterweight clash with Brazilian standout Gilbert Burns. It didn’t take long for Masvidal to find himself in over his head as Burns dominated the bout in virtually every aspect. Following a decisive unanimous decision defeat, Masvidal took off his gloves and announced that he would be riding off into the sunset with millions of dollars in the bank.

Appearing on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Jorge Masvidal spoke about his decision to retire from the sport and how he was feeling 48 hours later.

“It’s still a big mixed bag of emotions because I still love this sport and on a physical level I can still do very good,” Masvidal admitted. “I was looking at the tape. I have some hand speed and some things are still good, but other things I see is just not quite the same. Like from mind to body, whatever those are called, those neurotransmitters. They’re not firing like they used to.

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“I see the punch coming and I don’t think about it. I see the punch and then it’s like, ‘Oh snap, I got hit.’ So I saw the punch and I wasn’t tired. It’s just been happening, that motor function that I had has slowed down and it’s not the same so why continue to fight? I’ve always been somebody with a great defense and I’ve been seeing that come down more and more. I started thinking about it like, ‘I’ve been taking blows and dodging blows since a kid.’ Everybody can ride that rollercoaster they love the most until they for some reason can’t ride it no more.”

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Jorge Masvidal Says It’s Time to Pass the Torch

Aside from an eight-fight win streak between 2006 and 2008, Jorge Masvidal never won more than three fights in a row, which he did on multiple occasions. His last three-fight streak inside the Octagon turned out to be a star-making one. In March 2019, ‘Gamebred’ secured a win over Darren Till in London, the same night of the infamous ‘three-piece and a soda‘ incident with Leon Edwards. Four months later Masvidal would deliver a highlight for the ages when he landed an absolutely brutal five-second flying knee knockout against former Bellator and ONE world champion Ben Askren. A third-straight win coming against Nate Diaz secured Masvidal an opportunity to become a UFC champion.

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That’s where things began to come apart for Jorge Masvidal. Gamebred’ came up short on back-to-back attempts to dethrone the then-welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman. Adding two more decision losses against bitter rival Colby Covington and Gilbert Burns, Masvidal felt that it was finally time to hang up the gloves and pass the torch.

“To compete at the level I signed up for since a kid, I’m not there no more, and why even push that anymore? There’s guys I feel I can still beat on the roster, but I didn’t sign up to do this just to get money,” Masvidal continued. “I signed up to fight the best of the best in the world and I feel like I’m not there anymore. I’ve lost that step so it’s time to pass on the torch.”

Jorge Masvidal will continue to be part of combat sports, focusing attention on his Gamebred FC and Gamebred Boxing promotions that regularly air events on the UFC’s FightPass streaming service.