Four new bouts have been greenlit for UFC 161, as promotion officials recently announced that a rumored welterweight collision between Jake Shields and Tyron Woodley has been made official for the June 15 event.
UFC 161 takes place at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg and will also see Sam Stout throw down with Isaac Vallie-Flagg in a lightweight showdown. Additionally, Pat Barry and Shawn Jordan face off at heavyweight, while Sean Pierson and T.J. Waldburger lock horns at 170 pounds. The evening’s main draw airs live on pay-per-view and is topped by an interim bantamweight title clash between reigning champion Renan Barao and onetime WEC king Eddie Wineland.
A former EliteXC and Strikeforce champion, Shields, 34, has not competed since last August, when he saw a unanimous decision victory over Ed Herman at UFC 150 changed to a no-contest after testing positive for an unnamed banned substance. Woodley, meanwhile, enters the cage coming off a scintillating Octagon debut at UFC 156, in which the former Strikeforce prospect knocked out ex-IFL champ Jay Hieron in just 36 seconds.
Stout, 28, has split his last four fights and was last seen on Feb. 23, when he edged Strikeforce import Caros Fodor in a split verdict at UFC 157. Vallie-Flagg has not lost since 2007 and makes his sophomore Octagon effort on the heels of a hard-fought split decision win over veteran Yves Edwards at UFC 156.
Barry, 33, has posted a 5-5 record since joining the UFC in 2008, most recently dispatching Shane del Rosario this past December at the “TUF 16” finale. In Jordan, Barry faces a former Louisiana State University fullback coming off a second-round stoppage of onetime Top-10 talent Mike Russow on Jan. 26.
Pierson was supposed to compete against Rick Story next week at UFC 158 but saw that meeting derailed due to injury. “The Punisher” last competed on Sept. 22, when he took a unanimous nod over Lance Benoist at UFC 152. Known for his submission expertise, Waldburger was last seen on Dec. 15, when he put Nick Catone to sleep with a triangle choke at the “TUF 16” finale.