Chael Sonnen isn’t buying Jorge Masvidal’s retirement at UFC 287.
On Saturday night, ‘Gamebred’ returned to the Octagon for a high-stakes welterweight matchup with No. 5 ranked contender Gilbert Burns. Going into the bout with a do-or-die outlook, Masvidal quickly found himself in over his head against the well-rounded Brazilian. ‘Durinho’ went on to earn a unanimous decision victory, handing Masvidal his fourth straight loss.
Following the contest, Jorge Masvidal removed his gloves and delivered a speech that many, including the UFC, received as his official retirement from the sport. However, not everyone is convinced that ‘Gamebred’ is done with combat sports. Appearing on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Chael Sonnen pointed out that Masvidal never once said the word “retire” nor did he place his gloves on the canvas as is tradition with retirement.
“I want to first let the audience know why I’m making a big deal about this because this seems silly, right? Well not so fast,” Sonnen said. “The word retired is a legal term. The word retire envokes an entire part of your contract that would otherwise not be invoked so it’s really important. The word retire removes you from the USADA pool, but nothing else does. Not an injury. Not leaving the state. Not leaving the sport. Not a rumor. You have to use the word. You could even text the word to an official of the UFC. It’s really important, this word.
“The UFC on their social media known as Twitter, after Masvidal gave that speech and left the ring, announced that he’d retired and I said, ‘Wait a minute. He never said that.’ He never even said anything that’s defined as retires such as, ‘I’m done. I’m not coming back. You won’t see me again. I’m moving on in life.’ It sounded like a retirement speech. He took the gloves off, but he did not ceremoniously put them down.”
Chael Sonnen is seeking clarity on Jorge Masvidal's future: "Did he officially retire or did we just think he did?” 🤔 #TheMMAHour
▶️ https://t.co/X3WzZQA8Fj pic.twitter.com/hp78igWxU4
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) April 10, 2023
Chael Sonnen Likens Jorge Masvidal’s Retirement to Luke Rockhold’s in August
Chael Sonnen suggested that Jorge Masvidal’s retirement following his co-main event clash with Gilbert Burns felt similar to Luke Rockhold’s own retirement speech from August of last year.
“We’ve seen guys that have started a retirement speech. Luke Rockhold, just by example. After [his fight with] Paulo Costa, started a retirement speech and then caught himself. Caught himself on live TV and didn’t finish it. So I’m just saying, Jorge does need to clear this up if he in fact retired and out of USADA. If he changed his mind, it would be six months. It’s a big deal, that word. Other people have used it. I’m asking did he officially retire or do we just think he did?”
After nearly three years on the shelf, Rockhold returned at UFC 278 for a middleweight matchup with one-time UFC title challenger Paulo Costa. Following the unanimous decision defeat, Rockhold indicated that he was moving away from the world of combat sports. Months later, Rockhold revealed that he had signed with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship. He is slated to main event BKFC 41 on April 29 against former UFC standout ‘Platinum’ Mikey Perry.
Do you believe Jorge Masvidal retired on Saturday night or did ‘Gamebred’ leave the door open for a return to the Octagon?