Jon Fitch will defend his welterweight crown against Jake Shields at World Series of Fighting 34 on Nov. 12.
Sherdog.com confirmed the pairing with a promotion official on Tuesday following an initial report from ESPN.com. Fitch and Shields were initially scheduled to collide at WSOF 30 but Shields withdrew from the contest due to a contractual dispute. WSOF President Ray Sefo told ESPN that Shields recently signed a four-fight contract with the promotion.
WSOF 34 takes place at Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colo., and will air on NBC Sports Network. The card will go head-to-head against the UFC’s New York debut at Madison Square Garden that same day.
"We have our dates laid out, and this one was set," Sefo told ESPN. "We didn't know New York was going to pass MMA, and in reality, this is hard to avoid. The UFC has a show every week, sometimes twice a week. We already have dates in place for 2017."
After coming up short in his initial bid for WSOF gold against Rousimar Palhares in December 2014, Fitch captured the vacant strap with a five-round verdict over Joao Zeferino at WSOF 30 on April 2. The 38-year-old is 4-2 in the Las Vegas-based organization including victories against Yushin Okami and Dennis Hallman.
A former Strikeforce middleweight champion and UFC 170-pound title challenger, Shields has not competed since a controversial submission loss to Palhares at WSOF 22 where the Brazilian was ultimately suspended and stripped of his title for failing to release his fight-ending kimura in a timely fashion.