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Gilbert Burns apologizes to Jorge Masvidal over greasing allegations at UFC 287

UFC 287: Burns v Masvidal Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Gilbert Burns doesn’t have many regrets about his performance at UFC 287, but he wishes he could take back some post-fight comments.

In the wake of his unanimous decision win in the co-main event, Burns lobbed accusations at Jorge Masvidal that he was greasing during their fight, which made it harder for him to maintain control after scoring numerous takedowns. At the post-fight press conference, Burns stated that he believed Masvidal used an old school method that involved putting lotion on his body, allowing the lotion to absorb, showering, then repeating the process several times so when he would sweat, his body would feel more slippery.

Now days after the fight, Burns sent a heartfelt message to Masvidal and his coaches to apologize for his accusations.

“To be honest, I was in the moment right after the fight,” Burns explained when speaking to MMA Fighting. “I think I made a mistake accusing the guy of doing that.

“Right now, Jorge is done, he’s not fighting anymore. I don’t want be the guy pointing fingers and making excuses for the fight. I just want to make that statement — I want to apologize to Jorge, the things that I said, accusing him of using. I still think he was more slippery than usual but I cannot say that he did that, pointing fingers. So my apology to Jorge and his team.”

In the aftermath of the initial accusations, Masvidal denied any wrongdoing while adding that “maybe I’m the sweatiest motherf***** he knows, but I’ve never greased.’

Burns takes Masvidal at his word and admits he was wrong to make those accusations.

According to Burns, he was mostly upset with himself that he wasn’t able to secure a finish in the fight, which is what he wanted in order to make a louder statement with hopes that a win could secure him a title shot.

“I’m not a guy that complains and makes excuses,” Burns said. “If he did something, it’s all good but I’m not 100 percent sure that he did and I apologize saying that I know he did for a fact, 100 percent. No, I apologize to Jorge and his team.

“He’s a freaking legend, 52 fights, going out on his shield. A lot of fights in the UFC. I just want to take that one back. I think I made a mistake kind of pointing fingers saying he did that. It was just in the moment. A little frustrated that I didn’t get the finish. I don’t want no drama with that, I’m cool with Jorge. He did his thing and I hope he accepts my apologies.”

Following the fight on Saturday, Masvidal actually announced his retirement from MMA and Burns had nothing but praise for the toughness he showed during his last hurrah.

Burns admits he desperately wanted to finish Masvidal but the UFC’s first and only “BMF” champion refused to go away and he deserves recognition for sticking around until the final horn.

“He can fight, he’s so smart,” Burns said. “In those moments I’m glad I was in my zone, otherwise I would maybe go forward, going crazy and maybe I got caught. Sometimes we do little techniques to see the guy’s reaction and every time that I think he had a reaction, he didn’t just cover up and wait for me — he was in the fight.

“That’s where I was more impressed with him. He was always in the fight. He’s a real fighter. Not any doubt, giving up or something, that never passed through his head. [All] 15 minutes, good position, bad position, he was always fighting.”

As much as Burns was gunning for a knockout or submission, he knew deep down that Masvidal was going to be tough to put away so he can’t get too angry that he ultimately won a unanimous decision.

It’s not exactly the way he wanted the win but Burns can’t scoff at the result, especially knowing he had to go through someone like Masvidal to get there.

“I’m not mad but I’m not very happy with myself because I didn’t get a finish but a lot of things to consider,” Burns said. “The guy’s a dog, I dominated the fight, so that made me a little more relaxed. I dominated the guy. All the takedowns attempted, I finished. He’s a guy known a lot for his takedown defense. He works to get up, I had very good control on the ground. Good takedowns, threw very good striking on him so yeah I’m happy with the performance.

“With a lot of things to consider, the guy’s a dog, freaking a lot of pressure in the arena, they were booing me. I thought it would be easy to deal with that. It wasn’t that easy. It was ‘oh s***, they keep booing, they’re loud, OK!’ But yeah, I’m happy with the performance. For sure not like 10 out of 10 happiness because I didn’t get the finish but for sure I’m happy.”

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