Right before Josh Burkman and Aaron Simpson locked horns last night in New Jersey at the World Series of Fighting event, the organization’s President Ray Sefo announced that the winner of the bout would get Jon Fitch in June for his promotional debut. Fitch is the former #1 UFC welterweight title contender that was recently released by the top promotion and snatched up by Sefo and WSOF.
Both Burkman and Simpson are also UFC veterans. Fitch was ring side last night in Jersey and appeared ready to make good on Sefo’s plan.
Burkman, however, may not be. After knocking Simpson out in the first round and stringing together his fourth straight win, Burkman balked at fighting Fitch next. Burkman believes that he has earned a shot at the organization’s vacant welterweight title and that Fitch has yet to.
“I think I deserve a title shot. I beat (Gerald) Harris, I beat Simpson, and those are two of the best guys outside of the UFC. I think Jon Fitch needs to earn his title shot and then we can talk about it,” Burkman said.
“I am going to talk to [the WSOF] about it.”
Fitch is 24-5-1 overall in MMA and has long been considered one of the top 170 pounders in the world. In fact, at the time of his release by the UFC, he was ranked #9 in their own rankings.
However, he has lost two out of his last three, including getting dominated by Demian Maia in his last outing, at UFC 156. Burkman has won seven out of his last eight bouts since being released by the UFC in 2008.
What do you say, nation? Is Burkman smart to make the WSOF sweat a bit before giving them their desired fight? Should the organization make the fight a title one or would having one of the participants be someone coming off a loss in a competitor’s organization reflect poorly on the upstart promotion?