Going into last night’s World Series of Fighting 3 event at the Las Vegas Hard Rock, Main event fighter Jon Fitch was a strong favorite over his opponent, Josh Burkman. The two fought more than half a decade ago in the UFC, with Fitch winning by Rear Naked Choke. Little was expected to be different as the odds showed, Fitch was expected to win again with his strong, blanketing wrestling and grappling. This time around, Burkman caught Fitch by the neck coming in, and he nailed the guillotine finisher with precision and bad intent.
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It was a solid ending to an up and down night, as solid matchmaking on paper played out as a series of judges decisions on the under card that led to a crowd that got restless at times.
Fitch was fighting under a lot of pressure, as this was his return to action after his February cut by the UFC, and after the fight he stated he had gotten ‘overconfident’ with his own defensive abilities and not defended the choke on time.
Some observers pointed out that Fitch is basically the same fighter as he was in their first meeting. Despite advanced training for all that time, Fitch has mainly maintained his level. As for Burkman, he quietly learned his trade after he left the UFC and he has become a very dangerous fighter for anyone to face.
The end for Fitch started when Burkman landed a short punch that scrambled Fitch. Burkman showed great awareness of what he had done by going for the finish and capitalizing immediately. Fitch had shown a weak chin even from the early days in his career, so that the punch from Burkman wasn’t that surprising, but Fitch had not been submitted in more than 10 years, and that includes his last UFC outing whee he took Jiu Jitsu guru Demian Maia the distance.
The WSOF has promised to fill championship titles in 2014, snd with this win, Burkman effectively casts aside Fitch as the top gun at welterweight in the WSOF. Who his next opponent is remains to be seen.