In the second part of my exclusive interview with Josh Burkman, we talk about how he rediscovered his passion for MMA, events in his life that helped him focus on his career, any rematches he would like to have, and who his dream opponent would be. Part of the reason he found his love for the sport again came from injuries that kept him out of training, and when he came back he looked at MMA differently.
“Having something taken away from me that you love, and then getting it back – you have a new passion for it… You start learning again, start embracing all the arts… That is the biggest difference from when I was in the UFC and now is now I try to get better everyday. I am more of a martial artist, where I was just a fighter then.”
That is how Burkman’s view changed, and what that lead to his comeback. Plus, he is now a family man with a wife and son, and the fulfillment of his family makes him want to pursue his art even more.
In terms of rematches that he would want, Burkman sees three fighters out of his whole career he would want to test himself against for a second time. First, it seems to be Mike Swick who he views as someone who would not engage with him and did not deserve the decision he was awarded. Then there’s Jon Fitch, who he may have gone in a little too confident against and may have not trained the way he should have. Ultimately, losses are what make you stronger, since the Fitch fight helped him switch up his training. The only other fight he would want to do over again would be Jordan Mein, which is his only loss since leaving the UFC.
Of course, Burkman’s dream opponent is Georges St. Pierre, since he would love to test his skills against the best welterweight, if not best pound-for-pound, fighter in the world. In the end, Burkman feels, “A lot of people judge me off the end of my UFC career, and that’s why I am excited about the World Series of Fighting. It is a chance to show I am a lot better than I was fighting in the UFC.”