It took eight years and three months, but Josh Burkman finally has another win in the UFC.
Burkman got the best of a hesitant K.J. Noons on Saturday in the featured prelim bout at UFC Fight Night 82 in Las Vegas. The judges' scores in the lightweight bout were 30-27 across the board.
That gives Burkman (28-12, 1 NC) his first UFC victory since a split decision over Forrest Petz at UFC 77 in Oct. 2007.
A strange opening round didn't see much in the way of action. Burkman, at least, initiated offense from time to time, landing effective kicks. Noons did not throw a single strike over the first 4:30 and attempted just two strikes the entire round.
Noons, who seemed to favor his left hand between rounds, also didn't have much to show during round two, save for a solid counter left hand. But nor did Burkman come close to finishing the fight.
In the third, Noons, the former Elite XC lightweight champ, finally showed some signs of life. Burkman shot for a takedown, which Noons turned into a guillotine. Late in the round, though, if there was any doubt, Burkman picked up Noons for a big slam, then rained down punches from top position until the final horn.
Burkman snapped a two-fight losing streak, while Noons (13-9, 1 NC) has dropped two in a row.
"This might have been the best win of my career," Burkman said. "2015 was a year of adversity, injuries and other things, but coming in and winning at lightweight made it all worth it."
Burkman was making his lightweight debut and said he had to cut 18 pounds in less than 24 hours to do it.