Josh Burkman: Jon Fitch shouldn't get immediate WSOF title shot


josh-burkman-2.jpgATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – While recent UFC castoff Jon Fitch is slated to fight for a title in his June World Series of Fighting debut, his opponent, Josh Burkman, would have preferred another setup.

Burkman improved to 7-1 since his UFC days and picked up an impressive first-round TKO of Aaron Simpson at Saturday’s WSOF 2 event at Revel Atlantic City in New Jersey.

But before the Burkman (25-9) vs. Simpson (12-5) fight, which aired on NBC Sports Network, WSOF President Ray Sefo said the winner would fight Fitch (24-5-1) at WSOF 3 on June 14 in Las Vegas for the inaugural WSOF welterweight title.

Burkman, who also scored a decision victory over Gerald Harris at WSOF 1, doesn’t think Fitch should get the immediate shot. But he believes either one is a worthy champion.

“I think he should come into the organization and win (a non-title fight), and then they need to put me in against the winner of that, which I think it’ll be Jon Fitch,” Burkman told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) after the fight. “I think either one of us will represent this organization well as a titleholder.”

Burkman and Fitch actually fought once before. Back at UFC Fight Night 4 in 2006, Fitch scored a submission victory over Burkman, who suffered his first UFC loss. Fitch went on to challenge for a UFC title and become one of the most successful 170-pounders in MMA history. But following his 1-2-1 run, the UFC cut Fitch this past month.

Burkman got his own release back in 2008 after a 5-5 run in the UFC. But in recent years, as he’s largely dominated in outside organizations, Burkman said he’s a different fighter heading into the rematch with Fitch.

“I think a lot of it has been a learning curve,” he said. “I’ve been in this sport 10 years now. Things started off, and I got on a nice little run. I think the biggest thing is that the majority of my career, I was a fighter. I’d train for fights, I’d take six or eight weeks, and I’d train and get ready for a fight and be in great shape. And then I’d take two months off.

“It wasn’t a lifestyle. … Before I was training to fight. Now I’m training to be the best. I’m training to be a martial artist.”

Burkman, who credits his wife and son for giving his career focus, said some advice for the Simpson fight came from an unlikely place: his previous opponent. He and Harris actually exchanged messages on Facebook and gave each other advice for their next bouts.

For Burkman it provided some confidence and something to focus on during his training camp.

“We gave each other some advice,” Burkman said. “He said, ‘You hit hard, bro.’ He’s like, ‘I was starting to recognize that. You stunned me a couple times and never jumped on it.’ So I really tried to think about that during practice and put combinations together.”

With a title shot now looming, Burkman hopes to score his third stoppage in four fights. The 32-year-old launched his career with seven stoppage wins before a string of decisions against tougher competition.

But with his knockout power clearly on display against Simpson, and with a focus on putting together combinations during his fights, he looks to take a title from Fitch while continuing his career with the WSOF.

“That’s what I’m hoping for, and that’s what I want,” he said. “I’ve got three fights left (on my WSOF contract), and I’m not going anywhere.”

For the latest on WSOF 2, stay tuned to the MMA Events section of MMAjunkie.com. And for the latest on WSOF 3, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

  • 11 days ago
  • 1 views

UFC president Dana White talks Georges St-Pierre, Jon Jones and Eddie Alvarez in the latest edition of "The Download." read news >>

  • 10 days ago
  • 4 views

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at noon ET (9 a.m. PT) with UFC fighter Miesha Tate, WSOF’s Jon Fitch (in studio) and Cage Warriors champ Nicholas Dalby.Filed under: Cage Warriors, News, UFC, WSOF read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 73 views

The spotlight in no longer so bright on Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier’s brewing feud, but the upcoming title challenger recently dropped an interesting nugget on social media.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

  • 26 days ago
  • 13 views

Bethe Correia vs. Shayna Baszler was moved to UFC 177 due the cancelation of UFC 176, and the undefeated Brazilian sees it as just a small postponement to her plans on getting a title fight with Rond read news >>

  • 26 days ago
  • 19 views

Very rarely does a fight come together via honest divisional math that has as much heat and validity as Jon Jones versus Daniel Cormier. That isn’t to say that there haven’t been some very lucrative read news >>

  • 25 days ago
  • 73 views

UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman made his opinion clear regarding where he believes Michael Bisping stands in the UFC’s 185lb. division. While Michael Bisping is determined to one day become a read news >>

  • 24 days ago
  • 6 views

UFC 177 already featured one of the most maligned pay-per-view lineups in promotion history. That was before Renan Barao dropped out of his bantamweight title rematch against T.J. Dillashaw on Friday read news >>

  • 24 days ago
  • 16 views

Ben Askren is taking shots at the UFC just hours after winning ONE FC gold, this time asking for his free title shot since Joe Soto is filling in for Renan Barao at UFC 177. Just a few hours ago Ben read news >>

  • 24 days ago
  • 56 views

Renan Barao's failure to make weight for today's UFC 177 weigh-ins not only has cost him tomorrow's title shot, but he will not be granted an immediate shot when he returns. In the span of 3 months, read news >>