Since leaving the ranks of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 2008 following three straight defeats, Josh Burkman has been on a roll, wining eight of his last nine fights including five straight under the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) banner.
His latest first-round submission victory over Jon Fitch at WSOF 3 was perhaps his greatest performance to date, choking out the former No. 1 UFC welterweight contender in under a minute this past June.
And while most of the mixed martial arts (MMA) community expected Fitch to go in and dominate "The People's Warrior," much like he did in 2006, Burkman had other plans, though they didn't necessarily include a 41-second victory, according to the scrappy 170-pound fighter.
As Josh continues his ascension to the pinnacle of the division, he believes fight fans are on the verge of witnessing one of the greatest comebacks in the sport's history as he is out to prove that he is far from a washed-up former UFC fighter and that his best years are in front of him.
From Burkman's conversation with Michael Stets on Darce Side Radio:
"I truly believed that this was going to happen. I didn't surprise myself by any means; maybe in the fashion that it happened, but, there wasn't one minute that I didn't think I wouldn't beat Jon Fitch. I know where my level is at when I'm training with other guys that are top fighters in the world. I don't think that I'm done climbing that ladder. I was happy that I beat Fitch but a week later I was over it and I was looking forward to my next fight and continuing this process. My goal is nothing short than to be the best fighter in the world in this weight class. I know I have plenty of time left and I just have to stay on course. Over time, people are going to realize the potential of my ability and that I can beat anybody in the world in this weight class. I know that's a bold statement, but, I truly believe that over these next three fights, other people will start saying that, too. I think I've figured it out and I think I'm better than ever. I think this will be one of the greatest comeback stories that people will witness. At one point, I was down-and-out, you know? People were like, ‘You had an average UFC career and you're washed up.' But, my best years are in front of me. It's like the movie ‘Cinderella Man,' when you realize who you really are and what you're fighting for, that's when the best comes out in you. And, World Series of Fighting isn't the biggest stage in the world, but, I'm going to be able to prove that I can compete with anybody on that stage and I won't stop short of being the best I can be and by the end of that, I think I will be the best welterweight in the world."
Should he prove victorious, and Fitch does the same against Marcelo Alfaya earlier in the evening, then Josh expects his first title defense to come against the former Purdue Boilermaker to complete their trilogy that started inside the UFC's Octagon over seven years ago.
How about it Maniacs, is Josh Burkman one of the greatest unranked welterweights in the world? Or, is he simply a big fish in a small pond?
Would you like to see "The People's Warrior" test his new skills inside the UFC cage once again?