A contractual dispute between World Series of Fighting and welterweight contender Jake Shields has resulted in the removal of Shields from the company’s upcoming 170-pound title bout.
WSOF President Ray Sefo on Tuesday announced the news in his “Executive Orders” column on WSOF.com.
“For the past few months, I have really been looking forward to seeing two of MMA’s best welterweights, Jon Fitch and Jake Shields, meet in the decagon for our vacant 170-pound title,” Sefo wrote. “Now, I can’t tell you how disappointed I am to have to tell World Series of Fighting fans this fight will not happen when we had hoped.”
Sefo stated that Shields declined to sign a bout agreement to fight Fitch, but the promoter offered no further details regarding the contractual dispute.
The scheduled five-round bout was set to headline WSOF 30, an event for which neither a date nor venue has been announced. Sefo wrote that the card will take place in “early April” with details to be announced in the coming days.
Fitch, who outpointed fellow UFC vet Yushin Okami in October, will make his second attempt for WSOF gold after being submitted by Rousimar Palhares in their 2014 title fight. Zeferino will move up from 155 pounds, where in November he reached the final round of WSOF’s one-night tournament before being knocked out by Brian Foster.