Jon Fitch and Josh Burkman will meet at World Series of Fighting 3, as expected, and their bout will serve as the event's headlining bout (via MMAFighting.com).
Burkman recently moved to 2-0 under the WSOF banner with an impressive knockout of Aaron Simpson. Following the win, Burkman threw a curveball, asking for a title fight in an organization still without belts and brushing off the idea of a fight with Fitch.
“I’m going to talk to them about it," Burkman said on the NBC Sports Network broadcast of WSOF 2. "I think I deserve a title shot. I’ve beat (Gerald) Harris. I’ve beat (Aaron) Simpson. Those are two of the best outside of the UFC. I think I’ve earned my title spot. I think Jon Fitch needs to earn his spot and then we can fight for the title.”
Nonetheless, those running the World Series of Fighting recognized their biggest potential welterweight fight was one between former UFC title challenger Fitch and the surging Burkman. However, the matchup will not determine an inaugural 170-pound champion.
The bout between Fitch and Burkman will be a rematch of a meeting between the two at UFC Fight Night 4 in April 2006. Fitch earned the win on that occasion with a second-round submission.
Fitch was recently the subject of a surprising release from the UFC roster. Though he was still a top 10 welterweight, the organization viewed him as a fighter on the decline and one not worth the amount they had been paying him.
A move to WSOF gives Fitch a chance to reinvent himself and potentially prove he does still deserve to compete against the best in the world inside the Octagon. His quest to make that statement begins against Burkman on June 14 in Las Vegas.
Dan Lauzon and John Gunderson, in a 155-pound contest, are the only other fighters currently confirmed to be competing at WSOF 3.