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.”