World Series of Fighting was in the news earlier this week due to a request from welterweight fighter Josh Burkman on twitter, who asked to be released from his contract. The dispute stemmed over Burkman's pay for a recent fight, and led WSOF matchmaker/VP Ali Abdel-Aziz to fire back at him on the social media platform. It appeared to be a pretty big deal, but all looks to be okay in the WSOF camp now. Sort of.
Bleacher Report's Jeremy Botter recently spoke to Burkman, Abdel-Aziz, and WSOF exec Shawn Lampman, and the three men described the disagreement and subsequent resolution of their issues. Though they were able to work things out, It's not hard to see that there's no love lost between the men. After Burkman beat Tyler Stinson at the last WSOF event he had a simple message for Abdel-Aziz, who came into the cage:
"I love you, Ali, but I don't like you," Burkman told the matchmaker.
He continued on in more detail:
"That's our relationship. I don't think it's going to change. I don't think it's the last run-in we're going to have over contracts or fights," Burkman said. "But at the same time, I appreciate the person that Ali is. Some things got blown out of proportion, and I didn't want that to happen.
"I like Ali, but he's kind of a pain in my ass sometimes. Which is kinda his job, right? What happens is that there are some changes and miscommunication in contracts, and I was unhappy about it. I should have voiced how I felt about it a little bit better, maybe before I fought Tyler Stinson. But I figured the time for me to voice my opinion was after I won. I probably should have done that before the fight instead of doing it after. We didn't all see eye to eye on it, but we came to a common ground. I appreciate how this has been handled."
Burkman stated that he wasn't happy about the way he was treated by the promotion after he lost a bout to Steve Carl in October, but they worked it out. He was also paid the rest of his contractually-obligated money for the Stinson fight.
Abdel-Aziz did state that he probably shouldn't have gone after Burkman on twitter:
"I'm a very emotional guy, and I speak my mind very loud. And when I saw the tweet, I got a little bit hurt. I kinda feel bad about it, because everyone started talking about me and Josh," Abdelaziz said. "And that's what people want. They want drama. I think I should have texted him, and he should have texted me. Whatever happens, me and Josh respect each other because we always speak our mind. No regrets. That is part of life."
There's a lot more in the piece, which I highly recommend checking out. Either way, Burkman is now set to fight for the WSOF welterweight title later in the year, and it'll either be a third fight with Fitch or a showdown with Palhares.