WSOF 2's Josh Burkman prepared to stay with company through title shot


josh-burkman-1.jpgWith only its second event happening Saturday, World Series of Fighting has earned the trust of at least one of its fighters.

Josh Burkman (24-9) meets Aaron Simpson (12-4) in a welterweight bout on Saturday’s main card of World Series of Fighting 2 event in New Jersey. For Burkman, he’s ready to see things through with the new promotion for the long term.

WSOF 2 takes place at Revel Casino in Atlantic City with a main card airing on NBC Sports Network.

Burkman, who like Simpson is a UFC veteran, said he’s not stressing about getting a few wins outside that promotion and trying to get back there. Instead, he’d be happy to stick around with WSOF long enough to win a title.

“My goal was to come in, beat Gerald Harris and establish myself in this organization so we can bring in other top fighters so that I can prove I’m a top welterweight,” Burkman told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). “But I want to win that World Series of Fighting title. That’s my goal – to win this fight and say, ‘Hey, I want the first title shot.’ And if I get that belt, I’ll be happy right where I’m at.”

WSOF has yet to announce any plans for division titles, but Burkman believes they’ll be coming at some point. And welterweight might just be the division to be at in terms of top-tier competition to earn a title.

WSOF recently signed former UFC title challenger Jon Fitch to go with the likes of Burkman and Simpson at 170 pounds.

“I think it’ll be a few shows before they go and give out some belts,” Burkman said. “Guys have to get a couple wins. I think winning this fight against Aaron Simpson, that should put me right up there with the top of the welterweights. But then you go and sign guys like Jon Fitch and I think Tyson Steele’s around somewhere. If I win this fight, I think I deserve a title shot and they’ll have to figure out who’s going to fight me.”

Burkman fought at WSOF 1, picking up the aforementioned win over Harris by unanimous decision. Against Simpson, he’ll have an even more elite-level wrestler to worry about.

But even though wrestling isn’t what Burkman is known for, he’s comfortable knowing he may have to go that route against “A-Train.”

“I don’t mind (another wrestler),” he said. “Guys come from a certain background, but it seems like everybody’s training in the same thing. I respected Gerald Harris’ hands as much as I did his wrestling, and a guy like Aaron Simpson, if you’re worried about his wrestling, he might just catch you with his right hand or his left hook. With that, I still respect his hands and I don’t mind facing wrestlers. We wrestle once or twice a week, and I try to keep my wrestling going. I feel like when guys try to wrestle me, that’s when it brings out my wrestling. I’ll be ready for it.”

A win, as he said, would certainly elevate his status in the fledgling promotion. And the way it’s been so far, Burkman feels like he could build something and stick around.

“I like where I’m at and the fact they’re bringing in quality opponents and are coming through with that NBC (Sports Network) deal,” Burkman said. “They’re doing what they said to me they were going to do. Any time I have an issue or a problem, I can call and talk to them. So far, so good for me – I feel like I can build a home with the World Series of Fighting. As long as I do what I say I’m going to do and they do what they say they’re going to do, we can do some good things together.”

He’s hoping that starts Saturday against Simpson.

For more on WSOF 2, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie.com Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, MMAjunkie.com lead staff reporter John Morgan and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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