It seems as though the new World Series of Fighting welterweight champion Rousimar Palhares will not be defending his belt anytime soon.

A report on Wedneday revealed that the newly crowned champion has pulled out of his fight against UFC veteran Jon Fitch at WSOF 11 due to personal reasons. It was later reported that Palhares has to take care of his ailing mother and will not have adequate time to prepare for his title defense.

WSOF matchmaker Ali Abdelaziz hopes to find Fitch a new opponent for July 5. Abdelaziz is looking to pair him up with Jake Shields, also a former UFC welterweight contender.

The other title fight on the card between undefeated lightweights  Justin Gaethje and Nick Newell has subsequently been promoted to the main event slot.

No. 1 contender Nick Newell spoke to The MMA Corner about the recent developments.

“It’s an honor, and it’s really cool. It’s just an honor to fight on a card like that, but it’s even cooler to be the main event,” said Newell. “I think this is a big fight that a lot of people are looking forward to, so I think it’s appropriate that it’s a main event.”

The champion and challenger certainly don’t lack anything in the excitement category. Both fighters have 10 finishes out of their respective 11 professional fights.

Interestingly, Newell did not know about the changes to the card until he was contacted by The MMA Corner for a statement. However, despite the good news, the challenger admitted that he was very much looking forward to the welterweight scrap scheduled after his bout.

“I was looking forward to Palhares vs. Fitch. I think it’s an honor to be a main event, but I think if they could get someone to slide in, like Jake Shields, that would be cool,” he said. “It’s already going to be an event everyone wants to watch.

“There will be more focus on me and our fight, and I’m still going to train just as hard as I can, so it doesn’t change much except that it’s going to get more attention, more eyes on it, which is always a good thing.”

Also on the WSOF 11 card, lightweight Melvin Guillard will be making his debut in the promotion, although no opponent has been determined for him yet. Guillard was recently cut by the UFC after a loss to Michael Johnson.

More details about WSOF 11 are expected to be announced by the promotion in the coming weeks.

About The Author

Zach Miller
Staff Writer

Zach is a Boston native and has had a fascination with martial arts since playing Mortal Kombat at five years old. He was introduced to MMA after watching The Ultimate Fighter 5: Team Pulver vs. Team Penn. A recent graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Zach seeks to one day become a full-time MMA journalist. In addition to watching the sport, he has also trained in Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu, kickboxing, and tae kwon do. Zach has also written for NortheastMMA.