Josh Burkman only needed 41 seconds to put away an early candidate for submission of the year, but the big conversation points coming out of the fight have been a negligible Steve Mazzagatti and a delusional Jon Fitch. After dropping Fitch early with a pair of hooks, Burkman locked in a guillotine choke and dropped, putting Fitch cleanly out. However, instead of Mazzagatti signaling an end to the fight or pushing Burkman off when Fitch went limp, the fight ended with Burkman letting go of the choke himself and standing up victorious.
Dana White quickly chimed in with some choice words on the matter:
While still a heroic finish for Burkman, tonight was another ugly moment in a long career of them for Steve Mazzagatti. Fitch had already been knocked down and was hoisted all the way up to his knees by the guillotine choke before passing out and if Burkman hadn’t gotten up, who’s to say how much longer it would have been before Mazzagatti intervened? He may have been just about to stop it, but he sure didn’t look like it when he strolled over from what was surely the wrong position and waved the fight off. I’m sure it’s not as easy as it seems to be a referee for a cagefight, but shouldn’t a stoppage happen around the same moment the viewers at home have the “oh shit, he’s out” revelation? Or perhaps before the other fighter decides to walk off?
Burkman looked fantastic, though, and will likely fight next for a World Series of Fighting title that he already deserves. Further down the card, Jacob Volkmann out-wrestled Lyle Beerbohm for a decision in a predictably boring affair. Dan Lauzon controlled John Gunderson on the way to his first decision victory in a fight he dominated from the opening bell. Undefeated Justin Gaethje turned in a third-round TKO by way of leg kicks over Brian Cobb in one of the more exciting fights of the evening while Steve Carl submitted Tyson Steele with a first-round bulldog choke.
WSOF has a few months off to figure out what to do with their welterweight division without a clear contender to face Josh Burkman in a prospective welterweight title fight. Steve Carl has been very impressive in his two WSOF outings but might need another fight on television before being booked for a five-rounder. A Fitch-Carl eliminator might leave Burkman on the sidelines for a little while but it makes the most sense with the current roster, despite the obvious challenges WSOF will face trying to market someone named Steve Carl.