World Series of Fighting 9 headliner Rousimar Palhares subject to enhanced testing before his welterweight title bout Saturday against Steve Carl, the promotion has a backup plan just in case Palhares can’t fight.
The plan, according to matchmaker Ali Abdel-Aziz, is to move Tyler Stinson out of his bout against Josh Burkman and into the main event. Of course, that would also leave Burkman with a new opponent.
Ahead of the event, Burkman joined the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show to discuss the possibilities, whether he cares and much more.
On whether the possibility that his opponent could change distracts him: “Actually it doesn’t. My brother called me the other day when he read the article about it and he goes, ‘Bro, what do you think about this?’ And I said, ‘Listen, bro. We had a lot of street fights.’ I said, ‘If our opponents switch, it just turns into a street fight.’ You just show up and fight. I don’t think there’s any environment I’m more comfortable in than just showing up and fighting.”
On whether it’s fair that his opponent could change at the last minute: “I’m at the point of my career where I want to fight. Who knows how many fights I have left? I had to call up the World Series of Fighting and be like, ‘Get me on this card or else I’m going to make other plans.’ They got me on the card. … I feel very grateful that I get the opportunity to still go out and perform my craft and get the opportunity to compete because that was taken away from me for a long time. Now I want to take advantage of every chance that I can because who knows how much longer I’ll be able to do that.”
On Palhares: “The UFC let Palhares go for a reason, right? This is the best organization in the world, right? It is the top organization and they let this guy go for a reason -- because of what he creates by his character and who he is. So Ray Sefo said we’re not going to sign this guy … and then you go sign this guy. This is the kind of thing that happens. I’m not surprised by this situation. I talked to the matchmaker here and a couple managers that are in this sport and we were like, I’ll be surprised if this fight with Palhares even happens. I’m not surprised that this situation’s going on. I’m not even upset that it might happen. I’m prepared for it. I think a mixed martial artist should be prepared for all situations and have composure in the way that you handle those situations.”
On what to expect against Stinson: “I think Tyler Stinson’s made it very clear in the way that he talks about himself. He’s going to come out and try to punch me in the face. Every opponent I have faced for the last so many years says they’re going to come out and they’re going to punch me in the face and they’re going to beat me up. Stinson’s going to come out and he’s going to try to punch me in the face. I’m going to try to not let him punch me in the face by punching and kicking him. If he does hit me in the face and makes me feel uncomfortable, I’m going to take him down and beat him up on the ground. This is the fight. He’s going to have to make me feel very uncomfortable on my feet for me to do that. That’s what he’s going to try to do. … He’s going to tell everybody he’s going to knock me out and he’s going to have his opportunity to get in there and try to do that on Saturday night.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:31:00).