FX Card (9pm EST)
FUEL prelims (6pm EST)
Facebook prelims (4:30pm EST)
Four weeks from now, Josh Burkman will fight in the main event of the third World Series of Fighting event on the nationally-syndicated NBC Sports network. He faces a familiar opponent in UFC castaway Jon Fitch, whom he suffered a second-round submission loss to seven years ago at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas – the same venue the World Series of Fighting will visit next month.
Burkman has enjoyed much success since a three-fight losing skid in 2008 cost him his position with the UFC. He has won seven of eight fights since then, including the recent demolition of 12-time UFC veteran Aaron Simpson under the World Series of Fighting banner. A win over Jon Fitch next month would not only leave Burkman alone atop the World Series of Fighting’s welterweight fold but would also solidify his claims as one of the ten best welterweights anywhere. If you ask Burkman, though, he has much more to win.
Fitch beat me worse than anybody’s ever beat me in my career inside or outside the cage. He beat me at a time when I was probably buying my own hype a little too much and I definitely underestimated Fitch and overestimated myself. That’s where my career started to go up and down and it’s a fight that I performed well under my abilities and now coming back in my career, it’s just a fight that I want back. I think every fighter wants a chance to avenge his losses.
Since his UFC tenure, Burkman has relocated to his home of Orem, Utah, where he is part of the Pit Elevated fight team alongside UFC fighters Court McGee, Ramsey Nijem and Steven Siler. According to Burkman, the linkup with the Pit was a byproduct of McGee – another native Utahan – working with Chuck Liddell on the eleventh season of the Ultimate Fighter.
I’m a much different fighter now and having that performance that I had will not only help me avenge that loss but will also [help me prove] I’m one of the top welterweights in the world. That’s my ultimate goal, to prove that I’m one of the top fighters in the world and I think the World Series of Fighting has given me an opportunity to climb that platform by bringing Jon Fitch in. He’s a top ten guy in the world.”
“For right now, he’s just anxious to get that boot off and make sure his toe is good to go. As long as he feels good coming off that boot and when he goes to put pressure on it, he can walk without a boot, and his toe is strong and everything’s good there then it shouldn’t (delay his return). One thing about Jon is he’s not going to take any chances whatsoever. As long as his foot heals properly and he’s got no issues with it, it shouldn’t delay anything.
“I’ll just tell you this, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jon fights two more times this year. That’s very aggressive and I know that’s crazy, but it’s something that he discussed with me and we talked about it. I told Superman to relax a little bit, you’re injured right now, but he’s got an aggressive timeline in his head. Certain goals and accomplishments that he wants and we’re looking to get that record.”
“The truth and the fact of the matter is before we can talk any superfight or any move in weight class or anything to that effect, Jon Jones wants to win his next fight at light heavyweight, he wants to break that record, he wants to own that record solely. He wants to be considered the greatest light heavyweight of all time at this point,” Kawa stated. “I already think he is the greatest light heavyweight of all time, record or no record.
Well, that pretty much puts him out of contention for that big November superfight Dana White was hoping for.
(pic by Brad Penner for USA Today)
Bryan Caraway continues to take the brunt of the anger for the UFC’s decision to strip Pat Healy of over a hundred grand in bonuses. First it was just for his poorly received ‘Drugs are bad mmkay’ response when given Pat’s Submission of the Night money, and now I’m sure he’s also getting blamed for Nate Diaz being suspended too. But just to give you a little insight into where Bryan was coming from when he said those mean things about pot:
In general, there’s nothing wrong with saying you don’t like weed. But maybe consider your timing a little, huh guy? Right after the UFC just took $135,000 away from a Strikeforce Rocky and gave half of it to you isn’t the time to go “GOD BLESS THE BACKWARDS DRUG RULES IN THIS SPORT!” That’s what people are mostly pissed off about. I’m sure there’ll be a lot of responsible pot smokers who will now be offended that Bryan credits weed with sending his sister down the path to drug addiction too, but I’ll take it as the clarifying explanation it is.
(pic by Brad Penner for USA Today)
IT’S SO WRECKED, MAN. Sorry, I had to use that joke one more time now that Shane is retired. And since he is no longer putting himself into a position where other people are trying to maim him in a cage, we get to find out how rickety his body has really become:
Carwin’s decision had been a few months in the making, precipitated by a knee injury that sidelined him from a headlining bout against fellow Ultimate Fighter 16 coach Roy Nelson last December. The final confirmation came in the form of a letter from Carwin’s spine surgeon, who recommended he step down from combat sports’ competition entirely.
“Once the knee got better, I tried to go back to training and had problems with my spine, my lower back.,” said Carwin. “That [letter] obviously made the decision for me, for us.”
With all said and done, Carwin walks away from professional sports with six bulging and an additional three ruptured discs. He’s also developed foraminal stenosis and arthritis.
Foraminal stenosis, which narrows the passage that the spinal cord runs through and constricts on the nerve roots, carries symptoms like numbness, weakness, burning sensations, tingling and “pins and needles” in the arms and legs. This and Carwin’s arthritis made for some uncomfortable-to-excruciating training sessions at Denver’s Grudge Training Center over the last few years, as he prepared for bouts against Gabriel Gonzaga, Frank Mir and Brock Lesnar.
My God this Carwin. Let’s hope he stopped soon enough, because that’s a lot of spinal damage right there.
(pic by Ken Pishna for MMA Weekly)
Obligatory Shane Carwin destructo-gifs.