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Josh Burkman released from UFC contract

"The Ultimate Fighter 2" alum Josh Burkman has confirmed to the Salt Lake Tribune that his UFC contract expired November 2008.

"My contract was up, and I decided that I wasn't going to fight for a while," Burkman told his hometown newspaper.

Burkman will take time off to recover from several injuries that he says affected his last three performances in the Octagon, which includes a herniated disc in his neck and bulging discs in his back.

Burkman (9-7) is 5-5 in the Octagon, but has lost in his last three appearances to Pete Sell, Dustin Hazelett and Mike Swick. His most recent fight was an unanimous decision loss to Sell last October at UFC 90.

Burkman said he has the option to return to the UFC but will be open to competing on local shows to shake off ring rust before stepping foot onto the big stage again. Burkman would like to make his comeback in October.