The first ever World Series of Fighting welterweight champion won't be crowned at the show coming up this Friday from Las Vegas, but the winner of the main event, either Jon Fitch or Josh Burkman, will challenge for the belt in their next fight.
World Series of Fighting Vice President and matchmaker Ali Abdel-Aziz, in an interview with MMA's Great Debate Radio for Bleacher Report that will air on Thursday, broke the news that the winner of the bout between Jon Fitch and Josh Burkman will then move onto a welterweight title shot later this year.
"The winner of this fight, Burkman or Fitch, is getting a title shot," Abdel-Aziz stated. "It doesn't matter who, but the winner will get a title shot."
Many wondered when the featured fight was announced if the title would already be up for grabs or not. Fitch signed with World Series of Fighting just days after he was released from the UFC, and Burkman is currently riding a four-fight win streak, including two victories in the World Series of Fighting cage.
While both fighters bring veteran experience to the table, Abdel-Aziz felt it was premature to put the title up for grabs with Fitch in his first bout under the World Series of Fighting banner.
"Fitch is always going to be a champion, Burkman deserves to become a champion, and the best man is going to be fighting for the title and have the opportunity to have the world title," Abdel-Aziz explained. "A lot of people wanted this to be a title fight, and I didn't want (to) disrespect Burkman in any kind of way, but I think Jon Fitch has got to get his feet wet with the promotion before even talking about titles."
Fitch enters the fight off of a loss to Demian Maia in his last trip to the UFC Octagon but hopes to bounce back and pick up his second win over Burkman when they meet this weekend. Fitch first defeated Burkman while both fighters were in the UFC back in 2006.
Now Fitch and Burkman will be competing with the knowledge that the winner will move on to fight for the World Series of Fighting gold later this year.
The current agenda for the upstart promotion is for their fourth show to take place in August, followed by cards in September, October and December. It's over the next two shows that Abdel-Aziz plans to crown the other No. 1 contender in the welterweight division.
"The winner is probably going to have to sit for a little bit while I put on some other fights," Abdel-Aziz said. "We'll see what happens when they fight each other, and the best guy who fits will fight Fitch or Burkman."
Two up-and-coming welterweight prospects will have their chance to impress this weekend when Tyson Steele meets Steve Carl in the co-main event of the World Series of Fighting 2 card.
More welterweight bouts will also be added to the August and September shows, and when the dust settles, the promotion will pit the most impressive fighter in that list against either Fitch or Burkman for the first ever World Series of Fighting welterweight title.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.