Welterweight title challenge Jon Fitch was left without an opponent for WSOF 11 when champion Rousimar Palhares withdrew from the fight earlier this week due to his mother’s illness. World Series of Fighting matchmaker, Ali Abdelaziz got to work searching for a replacement opponent. He found one in newly signed top welterweight, Jake Shields, who will be making his WSOF debut in this fight against Fitch.
A great styles matchup between two top grapplers with similar imposing styles. Both were once title contenders in the UFC before both took a similar exit out of the UFC, being unfairly cut do their fighting styles. But will now get to meet in WSOF, in what a fight that may determine the next title contender.
Jon Fitch (25-6-1) snapped out of a losing funk, having lost 3 of his last 4–including a WSOF debut loss to Josh Burkman, before defeating Marcelo Alfaya in his 2nd WSOF fight.
Jake Shields (29-7-1) had his 4-fight unbeaten streak snapped at the hands of Hector Lombard last time out, losing a decision at UFC 171, which ultimately led to his release from the promotion. The former Elite XC welterweight champion and Strikeforce middleweight champion eyes his 3rd world title in WSOF.
In the other fight, another recently released UFC veteran, Melvin Guillard will be making his debut against one of the promotion’s top lightweights in Gesias Cavalcante.
Melvin Guillard (31-13-2), a 21-fight veteran of the UFC, was recently released by the promotion after losing a fight to Michael Johnson by decision. Guillard went 12-8-1 inside the promotion, but was never a contender for the title. He now has a chance to become a title contender in WSOF, and it needs to start with a win over his opponent “JZ”.
Gesias Cavalcante (18-7-1), was scheduled to compete for the lightweight title at WSOF 8 against Justin Gaethje–a man who holds a win over him, but was had forced out of the fight due to an injury suffered. He now looks to work his way back to title contention. The former Strikeforce and DREAM veteran is currently 2-1 in WSOF, with the lone loss to Gaethje being due to a cut.
WSOF 11 is headlined by a lightweight title fight between two undefeated lightweights with the same identical record, champion Justin Gaethje (11-0) and Nick Newell (11-0). And is set to take place on July 5th.
WSOF 11 Fight Card:
- Justin Gaethje vs. Nick Newell —Lightweight title fight
- Jon Fitch vs Jake Shields
- Melvin Guillard vs. Gesias Cavalcante