A little more than seven years ago a rising welterweight prospect named Jon Fitch stepped into the Octagon for the second time in his career, securing a second round submission win over Josh Burkman at UFN 4 shortly thereafter. Though the two are set to square off again this Friday night at WSOF 3 in what will be Fitch’s first fight outside of the UFC since his surprising release a few months ago, the 35-year old isn’t looking at his previous victory over Burkman for reference on how to beat him this time around.
“This is a totally different fight. I fought Burkman so long ago so I didn’t even bother looking at that fight. When I fought Thiago Alves (a second time) it was clear we both changed and adapted with the sport, and I know I keep progressing and Burkman has been doing the same thing,” explained Fitch in an interview with Fighters.com. “There are many things I can do now that I wasn’t able to do 6 or 7 years ago. If we were talking six months later, or maybe even a year that’s one thing, but once you start crossing the four or five year mark I just don’t see how there is any real value in looking at the fight. That’s a really long gap.”
The 25-9 Burkman has been on a tear as of late with seven instances of success in his last eight efforts including WSOF wins over Gerald Harris and Aaron Simpson. Meanwhile, Fitch’s stock hasn’t taken a hit over the past few years, compiling a 1-2-1 record since 2010 with his lone victory coming against Erick Silva.
Fitch-Burkman is set to serve as the main event for WSOF 3. Fans can catch their clash, along with other WSOF action, on NBC Sports with things firing up at 11:00 PM EST.