After six years away from the Octagon, Josh Burkman got an invite back to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), inking a deal with the Las Vegas, Nevada-based mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion to take on Hector Lombard at UFC 182 on Jan. 3, 2014 in "Sin City."
A move that came out of the blue, as Burkman was still under contract with World Series of Fighting (WSOF).
After Ben Askren caught wind of the news, he couldn't help but to send out a tweet which read, "Get beat up by Steve Carl then get to fight the #3 guy in the world. Makes perfect sense :) #ufclogic."
Another jab at his buddies over at ZUFFA.
In response, Josh sent out a tweet of his own -- which has since been deleted -- saying that he lost the bout to Steve Carl on purpose in an effort to get out of his WSOF contract. That was enough for "Funky" to accuse Burkman of throwing a fight.
Josh vehemently denied doing so, telling Sherdog that he could have worded his response better, as he was simply saying that as a way to play off his loss, instead of giving "bitter" Ben reason to accuse him of a throwing a fight.
"Ben Askren is just a bitter dude, he has a great career going on, but it seems like he is just not happy. He's always trolling and saying stuff about the UFC and calling out fighters. For me, when I was outside the UFC, I was never concerned. I'd watch those guys and see what was trending but I was focused on what I was doing. That Tweet was in response to Askren saying I got beat up by Steve Carl and saying I now I get the No. 3 fighter in the world. We all downplay our losses. I probably should have phrased it differently. I think it was dry humor, sarcasm and people saw it and tried to make a story out of it. But the bottom line is I would never ever put myself in that position. It definitely got overblown."
Askren's disdain for all things UFC is no secret, as his never-ending bashing of Dana White and Co. recently got him kicked off the air during an interview (see it) and earned him a spot on Bas Rutten's bad side, too.
As far as a potential showdown against "Funky," Burkman says he wouldn't mind it, but knows all too well that the chances of Askren getting a fight inside the Octagon are slim to none.
"I've only seen him fight once. He's obviously very talented. I'm sure he would fare decent in the UFC, but obviously his relationships aren't where they need to be to get him where he needs to get. If he keeps winning in ONE FC, maybe he comes over and me and him get to fight each other, I wouldn't mind that."
Then again, it's not like Ben is in a hurry to do much groveling.