WSOF 9: Josh Burkman Says Loss to Steve Carl “Will Make for the Best Performances of my Career”
UFC Vet Looking to Rebound Versus Tyler Stinson
By Kelsey Mowatt
World Series of Fighting had several compelling storylines in 2013, and one of them was thanks to UFC vet Josh Burkman. After scoring an impressive stoppage win over Aaron Simpson in March, the welterweight went on to choke out former UFC contender Jon Fitch in less than one minute. As Burkman approached his WSOF 6 bout with Steve Carl last October, many fans and pundits believed “The People’s Warrior” was going to be the promotion’s first welterweight champ.
Unfortunately for the 33 year-old veteran, however, Carl ended Burkman’s five fight winning streak with a fourth round, triangle-choke. Now, as the latter prepares for his WSOF 9 fight with Tyler Stinson on Saturday, Burkman is looking to rebound from the disappointing, and yet, memorable loss.
“I’m excited to get back in there,” Burkman said on a recent media call to promote the March 29th card. “My loss to Steve was tough. It made me look at some things that I was doing. I didn’t have a great performance, and so it made me go back, and look at a lot of things I was doing, including fight week.”
“I believe that I’ve fixed a lot of those things,” Burkman furthered. “I was really comfortable going into the fight with Steve Carl, and I think that the biggest problem that I had with my winning streak was that it made me a little complacent in where I was and what I was doing.”
Even before joining World Series of Fighting in 2012, Burkman had been distancing himself from the three fight losing skid that led to his UFC release in 2008. After being decisioned by Pete Sell at UFC 90, Burkman earned a WSOF contract by going 5-1 in his next 6 bouts. The only men who have beaten the Utah fighter since the loss to Sell are current UFC welterweight Jordan Mein, and the aforementioned Carl.
“I think that when you lose it creates that frustration and that adversity to make you question things and to get better,” Burkman noted about his loss to Carl. “I think that’s all that fight did is it’s made me better in my training, a little more disciplined, and I think that it will make for the best performances of my career coming forward, starting with this fight on March 29th.”
Interestingly enough, since Stinson was decisioned by Mein at a Strikeforce event in January, 2012, the welterweight has gone on to win four straight bouts. At WSOF 8 earlier this year, the 28 year-old stopped Valdir Araujo in round three.
So, while Burkman is looking to showcase a new-and-improved version of himself Saturday night, Stinson is hoping to launch into the title shot mix by defeating the UFC vet.
“You saved the best for last. I’m just so excited to get back in there and ready to show Ray and Ali that I’m capable of fighting world-class fighters and Burkman is just that,” said Stinson, before taking a shot at Burkman for being late for the call. “He’s not on the conference call yet. I don’t if he’s just too Hollywood or if he’s just scared to talk to me, but I’m going to go out there and do what I do and knock his lights out.”
WSOF 9 will be hosted by the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, and will be broadcast live throughout the U.S. on the NBC Sports Network.