Grappling fans can rejoice, because World Series of Fighting is sending two of the best grinders in the world into the cage opposite one another in July.

After earning reputations as top-ranked welterweights in the UFC, former title contenders Jon Fitch and Jake Shields are set to face off in the co-main event of WSOF 11 later this summer. No official date or broadcast plans have been announced as of this time, but the card will be anchored by a lightweight championship headliner between Justin Gaethje and Nick Newell.

Shields is coming off of a lopsided loss to Hector Lombard at UFC 171 this past March that signaled the end of his run with the promotion, despite having gone 3-1-1 in his last five fights inside the Octagon. A former Strikeforce middleweight champion, Shields has defeated notables such as Dan Henderson, Tyron Woodley and Robbie Lawler over the course of his career, but he came up short in his lone effort at earning UFC gold against Georges St-Pierre in 2012. The Cesar Gracie jiu-jitsu product made several attempts to get back into title contention, but the loss to Lombard and subsequent cut sent him packing to WSOF. Shields will make his promotional debut against Fitch.

For Fitch, this fight comes after a planned bout with WSOF welterweight champion Rousimar Palhares was called off due to Palhares dealing with personal issues. As a consolation prize, Fitch gets Shields in a fight that is more than likely going to determine the next contender to the belt.

Also a former UFC title challenger, Fitch spent almost a decade in the Octagon before unceremoniously getting released early last year and has been working towards a WSOF title ever since. A rocky promotional debut that saw the previously unsubmittable Fitch end up getting choked unconscious by Josh Burkman. He rebounded with a split decision win over Marcelo Alfaya this past October.

More details about WSOF 11, including the location, date and broadcast plans are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

About The Author

Vince Carey
Staff Writer

Vince Carey has been writing about the sport of mixed martial arts since 2010. Although he is just 21 years old, the Omaha-based writer is looking to provide readers with interesting content on all things related to MMA.