World Series of Fighting (WSOF) will hold a special media conference call today (June 6, 2013) in advance of next week's (June 14) World Series of Fighting 3: "Fitch vs. Burkman" event, which will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada..
The conference call will begin promptly at 2:00 p.m. ET. Scheduled to attend will be headlining fighters Jon Fitch, and Josh Burkman.as well as main card fighters Jacob Volkmann and Lyle Beerbohm and promoter Ray Sefo.
Fitch was considered the number two welterweight in the world for several years before a series of injuries and losses found him unemployed from UFC. It didn't take long for WSOF to scoop him up, signing Fitch to a multi-fight contract and placing him in the headlining bout of its next event. His opponent, Burkman, has experienced a tremendous career resurgence since his UFC release, winning nearly all of his bouts including both of his fights in WSOF. He crushed Aaron Simpson in his last fight and is hoping to continue that run of success in a rematch against Fitch.
Both Beerbohm and Volkmann are talented lightweight grapplers. Volkmann rose to prominence by outwrestling a large contingent of UFC 155-pounders while Beerbohm found his success everywhere from the local circuit to the Strikeforce cage. Each combatant will be looking to make their mark and score a good first impression to the World Series of Fighting audience.
Brian Hemminger here. The conference call is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. ET.
Jon Fitch: I'm feeling very good. I'm rejuvenated. I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders headed into this fight. I have the feeling to speak freely and I'm looking forward to holding that belt.
Josh Burkman: They have similarities in terms of being wrestlers, but I think Fitch transitioned his wrestling better to mixed martial arts and he utilizes his hands better. I think he's the more dangerous of the two.
Ray Sefo: It's unfortunate what happened. We wish Rolles a fast recovery and we're looking to have him back in September.
Jon Fitch: Not really. From very early on I was fighting for my job every single fight. They made it clear to me that they didnt' like me or want me around. It's awesome to have people working with me instead of against me.
Jon Fitch: Ray's awesome. I got to speak with him when we were first hashing out the contract. Just hearing his input and mindset, it's great to see someone with high level fight experience as a promoter. A lot of promoters lose touch because they've never been kicked or kneed in teh face before and you lose perspective.
Jon Fitch: We've both changed loads since that first fight. You can't look at that first fight. If he hasn't changed since that fight, there'd be no reason to have our fight next week. I feel I've made greater gains since that time period.
Josh Burkman: I think his game's evolved. The main thing is he's had so many high level fights and there's no way to make up for that kind of experience. Just being a veteran and fighting those guys that he fought will make you better at what you do. All his skillsets have gotten better over time.
Josh Burkman: If I beat Jon Fitch, I don't feel like it makes me the uncrowned champion. I feel like I have to win that belt to have that title. What I do know is the winner of this fight is the top welterweight in World Series of Fighting.
Josh Burkman: Well, I remember that I got beat up. I remember that. (laughs) I had some things happen in my training camp but I don't know if those things didn't happen it would have been much different. Jon Fitch was a much more focused mixed martial artist than I was at the time. I remember learning a lot from that fight. At the end of the second round, there were two seconds left and I was putting my hand down to create some space and I didn't tap.
Jon Fitch: I remember being fired up for that fight. I had an interesting thing going on because I was supposed to be on The Ultimate Fighter and I was told at the airport that I wasn't going to be on the show. Fighting someone that was on the reality show was an extra prize for me. I wanted to smash everyone that got an opportunity to be on that show.
Josh Burkman: I remember that I'd come off two wins in a row at the time and going into that fight, Joe Silva told me I had a fight with Jon Fitch. I wasn't familiar with the sport. I remember that the two victories I had, I overhyped myself and didn't give Jon Fitch enough credit and gave myself too much credit. I learned to never underestimate anybody. Whether you know someone or not, that was a big mistake on my part. I believed my own hype and didn't respect Jon Fitch.
Josh Burkman: There's a couple fights that I've always wanted back. My losses in general, I'd like rematches to see how much I've grown as a mixed martial artist to see how I'd do now compared to then. No one's ever handled me the way Jon Fitch did in my career since then. I've been wanting this fight for a while. Now, as I got into training camp, that's less motivation. I didn't even watch the last fight. I haven't even thought about it because we're better fighters. Jon Fitch is one of the best fighters in my weight class and I get the opportunity to see where I'm at.
Jon Fitch: There's just other times throughout my career with contract negotiations and after agreeing to terms of the contract. "If you lose we'll cut you and sign you back for half as much." Things under their breath around me, behind my back to the media. Without coming to my face and talking to me.
Jon Fitch: I'm proud of my history and proud of what I've done and even more proud to have the success I did in a hostile work environment. I feel like I have double the wins because of the circumstances I fought against.
Ray Sefo: Tyrone Spong will fight August 10th.
Jacob Volkman: I was preparing as if I was on the main card. It will be no different for me.
Lyle Beerbohm: It makes sense. Jacob and I will be exciting. We're both grapplers but we'll want to be on top. We're both scramblers and it'll be one of the most fun fights on the card.
Lyle Beerbohm: I feel since my Aoki fight I've rattled off six wins. I got my black belt in jiu-jitsu and I've done a lot of stand-up. I'm still new to the game and I've learned a lot and I feel like I'm peaking right now. I'm the best I've ever been.
Ray Sefo: I didn't wan to hold one or two events and throw the belts out there. We needed more depth in our organization and more fights. If we held titles in our second event, it didn't feel right. Going back to our main event June 14th, it's two great fighters Jon Fitch and Josh Burkman. 100 percent, those guys are deserving of a title shot if they win.
Jon Fitch: I'd like to avenge all of them but the draw is the worst because it's just left unsanswered. Almost a loss is better. I don't know. I always feel like if it comes to a draw, you have to fight one more round and the fact that I was supposed to get a rematch and lost the rematch to injury and it really sucks. That's the one fight that I want overall. The next is Georges St. Pierre because he is who he is and I felt like I've given him the best run for his belt that he's had.
Jon Fitch: I'm not gonna elaborate on that because I don't want to put them in a bad position because they're associated with me. (AKA fighters still with UFC).
Jon Fitch: I've had a lot of the usual suspects at AKA. We've got a number of guys to work with. Gray Maynard was a big sparring partner of mine helping him get ready for T.J. Grant. Josh Thomson as well. Nate Moore, Nate James, Thomas Gagney, all helping.
Josh Burkman: I train at the Pit Elevated. We have a lot of young guys like Court McGee, Ramsey Nijem, Steven Siler and Rad Martinez as well as a good crop of upcoming guys. I have a gym of my own in holiday and I have a group of guys that I grapple with. That's just martial arts stuff.
Jon Fitch: It'll be helpful to fight for once without fear of losing my job.
Jon Fitch: I wouldn't go after the pay but I would go after things right away like giving fighters a voice. We don't get a say in regards to TRT use, marijuana use. The fighters aren't represented. Job security would be a good idea also. Support from other unions would be important too. If you had the people on board, you'd have more power. If you had good managment, UFC was not your friend. If your management was doing a good job, they weren't in your corner.
Jacob Volkman: I would change the contract so it's not a four fight where you can be cut. I would change the minimum pay to 15,000 per fight and two years minimum. They're buying out Strikeforce and all the competitors and it would help people to survive if UFC was focused on paying their fighters more. I don't like when UFC says they treat fighters so well and the majority of them are just hanging on between next fight.
Jacob Volkman: I'm a happy guy now. I've always been a happy guy. Even if my friends and family don't agree with me.
Jacob Volkman: I'm changing my nickname to Dr. Feelgood.
Jon Fitch: I feel like I've got a lot of good years left in me. I've never abused any drugs. I don't even know how to use EPO. I'm feeling good. I made it this far naturally. If I make it to 40 and everyone's still using TRT then, maybe I'll do it so I can stick around another five years and feed my family.
Ray Sefo: Tyson Griffin will be fighting in August and I believe Nick Newell will 100 percent be fighting in one of the next two cards, either August or September.