EliteXC's first-ever welterweight champion will be determined in July, when the organization returns to the CBS airwaves. Veterans Jake Shields (20-4-1) and Nick Thompson (36-9-1), each riding impressive win streaks, will square off for the belt.
Shields can't wait.
After all, he hand picked his opponent.
Shields discussed the events leading up to the bout on a recent edition of TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
"I'm really excited about this fight," Shields said. "I think we're both, me and Nick, right at the top of our group. We're both on a huge win streak. This is the fight I asked for."
The title fight takes place July 19 at the Stockton Arena in Stockton, Calif. Shields expected to fight on the nationally televised event, but he didn't initially expect Thompson to be his opponent.
Shields had long been planning to face UFC veteran Drew Fickett for the belt. Strangely, however, Fickett pulled out of a scheduled June date with Shields due to injury, only to compete in a smaller organization around the same time.
"It's kind of weird," Shields said. "I don't know what happened. I know I was supposed to fight him on the 14th (of June), and on the 7th he fought someone else. I think it was (a) really easy (fight) on the 7th. ... Obviously it was a stupid move. I don't know what he was thinking. That EliteXC would just be like, 'no big deal?' Obviously they weren't happy if they dropped his contract." Link