Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Jake Shields (20-4-1) will take on Nick Thompson (36-9-1) to become the first ever EliteXC Welterweight Champion. The July 26th bout will be the co-main event for EliteXC’s second CBS promotion, which will now feature two title bouts. The Middleweight re-match between Scott Smith and Champion Robbie Lawler will headline the event.
It was reported last week that Shields would finally get the title bout that he has waited his entire career for, however EliteXC management was unsure whether they would pit Thompson or Jay Hieron against Sheilds.
“…I wanted to fight (Jake) Shields, that’s been my number one choice for a fight for a long time,” Thompson told MMAweekly.com. “Jake and I are the No. 1 and No. 2 guys not in the UFC and I think we both wanted this fight.”
In addition to this great opportunity to fight to become the first ever EliteXC Welterweight champion, he also will have the privelige of fighting on national television, during primetime. “…to fight on CBS for the title is a huge opportunity, exposure wise,” expressed Thompson.
Thompson’s last two bouts took place overseas in Japan, under Sengoku’s promotion, however EliteXC is more than willing to allow him to go back over there and fight in the future. Flexibility is one of the company’s strongest selling points when recruiting fighters.
“It’s a perfect opportunity because EliteXC’s still going to let me fight in Japan, which I love, and I get to fight in front of a U.S. audience, which is more accessible to my fans, all three of them,” said Thompson.
Shields, who is the best welterweight in the world never to hold any title belt of significance, has been recovering from a multitude of injuries. He recently injured his back during training, however has fully recovered from that and is ready to compete.
“I’m 100 percent,” Shields emphatically stated. “I was struggling with it (his back injury) for a while, a lot longer than I wanted, and it took me a few months to get 100 percent, but I did the right things and now I am. And, I’m more motivated than ever.”