Jake Shields vs. Jon Fitch to determine new WSOF Welterweight Champion on April 1

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

With Rousimar Palhares stripped of the title and suspended for two years by the Nevada Athletic Commission, the World Series of Fighting is now in need of a new champion in their welterweight division.

They’ll crown one on April 1.

WSOF President Ray Sefo announced last Friday night on AXS TV’s Inside MMA program that Jake Shields and Jon Fitch will face one another for that title on that date. Additionally, Dave Branch will defend his Middleweight Title – one of two he currently holds – against Clifford Starks.

Shields was submitted by Palhares on Aug. 1 in his last bout, but that came after he was gouged in the eyes several times. Palhares’ suspension came as a result of him once again holding onto a submission after his opponent had tapped, and Shields will attempt to take the WSOF’s top spot after those transgressions by the former champion.

Fitch was submitted by Palhares himself last December, getting caught in a kneebar and tapping furiously to get Palhares to release the hold. Fitch bounced back last month with a win over fellow former UFC Title challenger Yushin Okami.

The April 1 event does not yet have a location, but it will air live on NBCSN.

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