Josh Burkman. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Contrary to popular belief, “Ultimate Fighter” alumnus Josh Burkman is not on bad terms with the UFC following his release from the promotion. In fact, his relationship with the organization is great and he could actually be returning in the near future.
However, first on the docket is time to heal some lingering injuries for “The People’s Warrior”:
“After the Pete Sell fight, I got an MRI, [and found a] herniated disc in my neck, four bulging discs in my back,” Burkman said. “I had arthritis, [and] a bunch of nerve damage up from the herniated. I talked to [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva and I told him I was taking a year off. He said when I was healthy and done with my rehab to give him a call.”
Burkman has spent the last four months rehabbing his back. In another week or so he will start a mock six week training camp, to make sure that his body can handle the preparation necessary to fight. If he makes it through training camp, Burkman says that he will call the UFC, and thinks that the company would offer him a three-fight contract.
Part of me thought that Burkman had been hurt going into the Mike Swick fight, but I didn’t want to speculate at the time. It was clear as day that the explosiveness he has shown in the past just wasn’t there. Swick isn’t a bad wrestler, but he’s not anything special, and Burkman wasn’t able to take him down no matter what he tried. Something was wrong.
With that said, the UFC isn’t going to give him a break just because he fought injured. The fact of the matter is that he lost his last three fights and a fourth in his comeback fight isn’t going to result in another chance for him for a while. I recommend taking a couple of fights in smaller shows before jumping right back into a revamped UFC welterweight division.
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