by Matt Hill – MMAWeekly.com
Josh Burkman, the man known as “The Peoples’ Warrior,” is a TUF reality show veteran who has seen success in many of his recent Octagon outings, earning wins over salty veteran Drew Fickett and Miletich-trained fighter Josh Neer. Burkman’s only hiccup so far in UFC competition was against American Kickboxing Academy’s John Fitch.
Burkman said, “I fought John Fitch when I wasn’t healthy and I know that’ll be a different fight if I train for it and I’m healthy, you know?”
It appears that with Octagon experience Burkman has grown wiser as well. Josh said, “With the Fitch fight I was getting ready for a rock concert, not a UFC fight. That’s also changed everything about me, you know? For the first time in my life I feel like I’ve turned into a professional.”
Tonight, Burkman will be competing against UFC newcomer Chad Reiner in an attempt to propel himself up the welterweight ladder one more step. Burkman said of his opponent, “I don’t know a lot about him. In a lot of my fights I’m really paying attention to what I’m doing…I know he’s pretty much an all around fighter. I haven’t seen any film on him, I don’t know a lot about the kid.”
Josh will be looking to end the fight tonight in both a quick and exciting fashion. Josh said, “I don’t think it will go out of the first round.” Also, it is still uncertain whether or not this fight will make it to TV or not, so ending the fight quickly could have multiple rewards for Burkman – fighting on free TV and getting another good UFC win.
Josh knows this possibility and said, “I always try to be an exciting fighter. I don’t want to go out there and be a boring fight. Whether I’m on TV or not, I’m going to try to go out there and put it on him quick and get out of there early.”
Most everyone who has seen Burkman fight in the past knows one thing for certain…when the bell rings, Josh brings a firefight to his opponent. Anyone who saw his fight on “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show against Melvin Guillard saw him and Melvin exchange multiple kicks, punches and slams – and that was just the first eight seconds.
It seems like Burkman is ready for another barnburner tonight when he steps in against Reiner and fans should anticipate an action packed fight no matter who ends up the victor.
Josh doesn’t leave us any doubts about which man he feels will win tonight, though.
“With the focus I have and the training that I’m doing now, I don’t think that anyone in the welterweight division can get in my way,” Burkman said.