Jake Shields to fight Jon Fitch


A welterweight contest between newly acquired Jake Shields and Jon Fitch will co-headline a WSOF event on July 5.

WSOF executive vice president Ali Abdel-Aziz confirmed the bout to ESPN.com on Friday, following an initial report by MMAjunkie.com.

A lightweight title bout featuring Justin Gaethje and Nick Newell will headline the WSOF 11 event. The promotion has yet to announce a host venue.

Shields (29-7-1) signed with WSOF last month. A former Strikeforce middleweight champion, Shields was released by the UFC earlier this year following a unanimous decision loss to Hector Lombard at UFC 171.

The 35-year-old wasted little time signing a multi-fight deal with WSOF. Shields is 3-1 in his last four fights, including wins over Demian Maia and Tyron Woodley. He also had a no-contest during that stretch.

Fitch (25-6-1) had been expected to fight Rousimar Palhares for the WSOF 170-pound title, but Palhares withdrew recently due to personal reasons.

The UFC released Fitch early last year, following a run of 18 consecutive UFC appearances. Fitch debuted for WSOF four months later and lost to Josh Burkman via first-round submission. He has since rebounded with a split decision win over Marcel Alfaya in October.