After beating relative unknown Chad Reiner (13-2) earlier this year at UFC Fight Night 8 — his first fight and win after a six-month layoff — Josh Burkman (8-3) appears to have been rewarded with a welterweight showdown at UFC 71 against top contender Karo Parisyan (16-4), according to MMAWeekly.com.
Burkman is 4-1 in the Octagon since being forced off season two of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) because of a broken hand suffered beating up Melvin Gillard during a unanimous decision win on the reality show.
The one loss, however, is important to highlight.
It came via rear naked choke to Jon Fitch at UFC Fight Night 4 in April 2006. Fitch, of course, just choked out Luigi Fioravanti (10-2) at UFC 68 this weekend. Even before the win, Fitch was telling everyone who will listen that he wants Parisyan next.
As a star at 170 — one who doesn't get much attention from UFC brass — it appeared to be the most logical match up. Not only would it be a tremendous fight, but it would also help get his name out there to casual fans who are perhaps unfamiliar with his talent.
However, this report indicates that a man he already beat will get his shot at Parisyan first.
Not taking anything away from Burkman -- he is no slouch. But, Fitch already handled him convincingly.
Unfortunately, it appears that the lesser fighter got the opportunity first based purely on name recognition.
Unless the UFC has bigger and better things planned for Fitch in 2007, I cannot for the life of me understand the thought process behind this May 26 bout.
To read more about Fitch and his thoughts on a potential fight with Karo check out our exclusive interview here.