Elite XC Middleweight Champion "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler, Jake Shields, Scott "Hands of Steel" Smith, and Cris Cyborg -- four of the talented fighters who will compete in Stockton, Calif., on July 26 at "Unfinished Business" -- participated in an open media workout yesterday at "The Ultimate Training Center" in Roseville, Calif.
Smith and James "The Sandman" Irvin are part owners of the gym.
Cyborg -- wife of Pride FC veteran Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos -- will face Shayna Baszler on the main card that will air on CBS. The winner of the bout will more than likely take on Gina Carano sometime in the fall for the right to become the first Elite XC female champion.
After months of delays, Shields will finally get his crack at the Elite XC welterweight gold. He'll lock horns with Nick "The Goat" Thompson for the vacant 170-pound strap in a fight is one of the most anticipated fights in the organization's history. The two are coming in on a combined 21 fight winning streak.
Something has got to give.
Shields had this to say during the question and answer portion of the media workout:
"I feel really good and have been working very hard for a long time. The fact that my title shot is finally here is as good as it can get for me. Being on CBS only makes it that much more exciting. This fight card will give all of us a lot of exposure. I respect Nick. He is definitely a tough fighter, but I have fought a lot of tough guys throughout my career. We're both on nice winning streaks, but one has to end and I don't plan on it being my mine."
Lawler and Smith fought in the co-main event on the May 31 debut of "Saturday Night Fights" on CBS. They waged an all out war for nearly three rounds before falling victim to the dreaded "no contest" after an inadvertent thumb to the eye from the champ.
Because of the action and excitement the first fight provided and the unfulfilling conclusion resulting from the early stoppage, this rematch is one the entire MMA world has their eyes on.
Here's a quote from each of the main event participants from yesterday:
"I watched our first fight one time right after I got back home from New Jersey, but I haven't watched it since. This is going to be another great fight. We both go out and give our best. My game plan is to adapt. I don't try to picture what is going to happen inside the cage. The fact we have fought each other won't lend any advantages to either of us. I love to fight and I am looking forward to fighting and defending the title on July 26 in Stockton on CBS."
"I am really looking forward to fighting Lawler again. I look back at our first fight and all the things I did wrong and that alone has given me more confidence. I know I can fight better than I did last time. My head movement was terrible and I got hit way too much. I expected Lawler to come out more aggressively but he fought a very intelligent fight. I'm known as a slow starter and he wound up taking me apart in the first round. I had a bad game plan and he took advantage."
It should be a fun event on July 26. To check out the rest of the CBS and Showtime co-telecast card for "Unfinished Business" click here.