Fighter of the Month: June 2013 – Josh Burkman
By Christopher Jester
Fighter of the Month – Josh Burkman
Event: World Series of Fighting 3 (June 14, 2013)
Opponent: Jon Fitch
Result: Technical Submission (Guillotine Choke)
Since suffering an unanimous decision loss to Pete Sell back at UFC 90, Josh Burkman has been on quite a roll. Only suffering one loss since then, Burkman has compiled a record of 8-1. This impressive welterweight was just coming off a stunning KO victory of Aaron Simpson on March 23rd at World Series of Fighting 2, when he was immediately scheduled to face fellow UFC castoff Jon Fitch.
Jon Fitch notoriously had been released by the UFC and it was thought that wherever he settled next, he would be the uncrowned champion at 170lbs. Burkman had other plans. Already suffering a loss to Jon Fitch back in 2006 via rear-naked choke, Burkman had the right motivation to take into this fight and to correct a wrong that took place so many years ago.
The rematch that had been seven years in the making only lasted 41 seconds. A determined Burkman caught Fitch as he was coming in, and realized the wobbled Fitch was hurt. Sinking in a standing guillotine, Burkman dropped into guard. Seconds later Fitch went limp, and referee Steve Mazzagatii didn’t not even notice it. Burkman relieved Fitch and removes the guillotine raising his own hands over his fallen opponent.
Finishing Jon Fitch is something. Finishing him in 41 seconds via submission is another thing. Known for his incredible submission defense, Jon Fitch had not been finished by a submission since his very first professional fight back in 2002. Burkman became only the second fighter to submit Jon Fitch in his professional career.
And for that, PunchDrunkGamer would like to award Josh Burkman our Fighter of the Month for June 2013. Congrats on an defying the odds and good luck in your future victories!
1. Fabricio Werdum (UFC On Fuel TV 10 – June 8, 2013) – A fight against a legend such Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is an honor within itself. However, Werdum had suffered a decision loss to Nogueira during their PRIDE days. But it was Werdum who had a lot to be prideful for after this bout was over. In a competitive bout till the end, Werdum caught Nogueira in an unbreakable armbar and light yelp from Nogueira caused the referee to call the bout off with Werdum winning via technical submission – verbal tapout. Victories like this will push Werdum closer to a title shot in the UFC heavyweight division.
2. James Krause (UFC 161 – June 15, 2013) – In what could have easily been a losing effort to a decision against Sam Stout, James Krause latched onto an opportunity to finish a tough and durable Stout. In the third round with only 13 seconds left to go, Krause snatched up Stout’s neck as he was shooting for a takedown and was able to grasp a guillotine choke. Seconds later he was able to put the formidable fighter to sleep. This helped Krause earn Fight of the Night and Submission of the Night honors in his UFC debut!
3. Stipe Miocic (UFC 161 – June 15, 2013) – In what could have easily have been judged with a 10-8 round or two, Stipe Miocic battered Roy Nelson to a 30-27 unanimous decision victory. The fight was the last on Nelson’s contract, but it was the victory Miocic needed to prove that he is still capable with hanging with the top ten of the heavyweight division. Very few men beatdown Roy Nelson like this, and this victory shows that Miocic has a lot left to showcase in what has become a very interesting heavyweight division.
4. King Mo (Bellator 96 – June 19, 2013) – Just a fight or two away from possibly being written off as nothing but hype and a failed experiment for Bellator, King Mo came back with a vengeance in his bout against Seth Petruzzelli. Back to his wrestling game, Mo used his pedigree to land a thunderous diving punch into guard that knocked Petruzzelli out cold. This was the King Mo of old and he was one step closer to title contention.
5. Thiago Silva (UFC On Fuel TV 10 – June 8, 2013) – Thiago Silva has had it rough in his past two victories. Two wins were overturned due to failed drug tests. He had to make a statement at UFC On Fuel TV 7 just to stay relevant in the light-heavyweight division. He did so in a battle between two heavy-handed strikers. The bout did not last one round as Silva applied pressure to Rafael Calvacante to tire him in later seconds of the rounds. Peppering him with shots against the cage, Silva shut off the lights at 4:29 of round one and won himself Knockout and Fight of the Night honors! Welcome back, Thiago Silva.
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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