A welterweight title clash between two former UFC fighters has been shot down for World Series of Fighting (WSOF) 11.
After winning the belt from Steve Carl at WSOF 9 back in March, Rousimar Palhares was set to make his first title defense against Jon Fitch at WSOF 11 on July 5, 2014. The pride of Purdue never wanted to face the Brazilian in the first place and had an issue with the timing of the fight, asking to fight no later than June.
This situation was doomed from the start.
It's now confirmed by MMA Fighting that "Toquinho" has pulled out of their planned title fight citing "personal reasons" and "screwed" executive vice president Ali Abdel-Aziz is not too happy about it:
"We're getting screwed. I'm trying to put on a fight card and be nice to fighters, and now they don't want to fight each other. I have to put WSOF first and everyone else second. No more Mr. Nice Guy."
Someone's taking it to heart.
Maybe Abdel-Aziz is voicing his frustrations because of previous statements made by fighters others than Fitch, including the likes of Josh Burkman and Vinny Magalhaes, the latter of whom didn't even sign with the promotion.
Because of the scrapped main event, the lightweight title bout pitting champion Justin Gaethje against Nick Newell will now serve as the event's headliner.
With Palhares out, the organization plans to book a fight between Jon Fitch vs. Jake Shields, who recently signed for the promotion after UFC fired him for his UFC 171 loss against Hector Lombard.
That match is not official at this time, but is apparently in the works.
Dana White called Shields "just another guy" after explaining his cut (and had a similar explanation when he tried to shed some light on Fitch's UFC release), but the Skrap Pack member shrugged off the release and insisted that life goes on.
Stay tuned for more details on a potential Fitch vs. Shields fight as they become available.