While the 2013 NCAA wrestling were taking place, it wasn't meant to be for former collegiate wrestler Aaron Simpson in Atlantic City, New Jersey against Josh Burkman at WSOF II at the Revel Resort and Casino. Simpson was stopped with a brutal series of strikes in the first round that forced referee Dan Miragliotta to halt the action. The end came officially at 3:04 of the very first round.
Simpson opened the frame by ducking under a punch from Burkman and tried to score a takedown from the clinch and against the fence, but Burkman stuffed the effort. He followed up with knees to Simpson's face, forcing the Power MMA welterweight to reset his attack and separate.
As the round progressed, it became clear Burkman looked to land a single power shot, either a cross or kick that could disrupt Simpson's attacks or rhythm. Simpson, however, was content to do what he does best by finding a way to clinch against the fence and look for the scoop double leg.
In space, Simpson was nailed with a hard right hand as he moved in, which staggered him badly and set up the beginning of the end. Burkman landed more right hands and as Simpson began to retreat, ate a knee flush to the chin against the fence that eventually forced the stoppage.
When speaking to WSOF commentator Bas Rutten, Burkman took the opportunity to ask for a title shot for a title that doesn't yet exist. "I think I've earned my title spot," Burkman said. "I think Jon Fitch has to earn his spot and then we can fight for the title."
Burkman moves to 24-9 in professional MMA while Simpson slides to 12-5 and has dropped three of his last four.