World Series of Fighting officials are actively searching for a new opponent to replace Josh Burkman, as less than a month out from Burkman's scheduled rubber match against Jon Fitch at WSOF 11, an elbow injury has forced the veteran to withdraw from WSOF's summer NBC debut, sources told MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani on Wednesday.
Burkman's dropout signals the third opponent change for Fitch. The former UFC title challenger was initially scheduled to face WSOF welterweight champion Rousimar Palhares in the main event of WSOF 11, however Palhares withdrew to care for his sick mother, then both of his subsequent replacements, Jake Shields and Burkman, suffered injuries.
Burkman is expected to miss four to six weeks with ligament damage and a bone bruise in his elbow due to a hyperextension caused in training.
WSOF 11 takes place on July 5, 2014 at the Ocean Center in Daytona, Florida. The card will be the first mixed martial arts event to ever broadcast on NBC, and is headlined by a lightweight title fight between WSOF champion Justin Gaethje and undefeated one-handed fighter Nick Newell.
Fitch (25-6-1, 1 NC) is expected to remain on the card. The 36-year-old Octagon veteran rebounded from a 41-second loss to Burkman in his WSOF debut to defeat Marcelo Alfaya via split decision last October.
An updated WSOF 11 fight card can be seen below.