with a main card heavy on action. A UFC middleweight title tilt between career-long rivals Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya headlines the card, but everything beneath it is saturated with violence.
The co-main event is a hometown special. Miami native Jorge Masvidal is back in action, fighting for the first time in south Florida under the UFC banner, when he takes on top contender Gilbert Burns at welterweight. Masvidal, despite being on a three-fight losing streak in title fights, could end up near a fourth with a win over Burns given that Leon Edwards now holds the title and the two fighters have beef dating back to 2019.
Take a look at the three best fights to catch beyond the main event of UFC 287.
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Gilbert Burns vs. Jorge Masvidal
White appears deadset on booking Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington for the UFC welterweight championship, but Burns and Masvidal can offer new perspective with a dynamite performance. Both have avenues to call for a title shot. Burns has far more merit to his case. Currently ranked No. 5 at welterweight by the UFC's official rankings, Burns has gone 8-2 in his last 10 fights with losses only to Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title and Khamzat Chimaev. He also presents a unique threat to Edwards with world-caliber jiu-jitsu and powerful boxing. It would be impossible to justify a title shot for Masvidal following three consecutive losses if not for his real-life issues with Edwards. Masvidal submitted "three-piece and a soda" into the collective MMA lexicon after punching Edwards backstage at a 2019 Fight Night card in London. Masvidal's stock has certainly dropped since his rise to glory in 2019, but he remains one of the promotion's more marketable fighters and that goes a long way in this business.
Rob Font vs. Adrian Yanez
If you want to watch MMA boxing at its finest, this is the fight for you. Font will stick a jab in your face for days, using his reach to land more than six strikes per minute. Yanez, the son of a Golden Gloves champion, is a student of the game and in pursuit of his sixth consecutive post-fight bonus. It's true that both men primarily rely on boxing technique, but the well-rounded strikers also have head kick, elbow and knee strike stoppages on their collective records. Font finds himself in the gatekeeper role following back-to-back losses to Marlon Vera and Jose Aldo. Yanez introduced himself to White on the "Contender Series" and stunned the crowd with a perfect 5-0 Octagon run. Yanez's technique and looks have drawn comparisons to fellow UFC 287 combatant Masvidal. In fact, Masvidal has named Yanez as one of his favorite fighters to watch -- a surreal co-sign from one of Yanez's fight idols.
Kevin Holland vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio
Rounding out the list is another fun main card entry. Holland and Ponzinibbio are judge repellents with a nearly 80% finishing rate in victory. Holland, one of only three people to win five UFC fights in a calendar year, looks to stave off his first career losing streak. Losses to Chimaev and Stephen Thompson certainly hurt, but Holland can rationalize the very short-notice nature of the Chimaev fight and the broken hand he suffered early against "Wonderboy." What Holland has going for him is a diverse fight-ending style and a charismatic personality highlighted by his in-cage trash talk. Ponzinibbio will certainly engage in the fight. That was evident in his late rally against Alex Morono at UFC 282. Once considered a darkhorse contender at welterweight, Ponzinibbio is still finding his footing after career-threatening blood and bone infections sidelined him for 26 months. Ponzinibbio is 2-3 since coming back -- a far cry from the 9-2 run he had before the health scare -- but he's certainly not gunshy. Two Fight of the Nights and a Performance of the Night since returning prove that.
Honorable mentions: Raul Rosas Jr. vs. Christian Rodriguez, Gerald Meerschaert vs. Joe Pyfer, Ignacio Bahamondes vs. Trey Ogden
Who wins Pereira vs. Adesanya at UFC 287? And how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight at UFC 287, all from the MMA expert who profited more than $6,200 in 2022, and find out.