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Jake Shields to Fight for Interim Strikeforce Middleweight Title

Jake Shields, the former EliteXC welterweight champion, will fight for the interim Strikeforce middleweight title in October. Strikeforce founder and CEO Scott Coker informed FanHouse of the news at Tuesday's Gina Carano-Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos press conference in New York City.

Shields last competed for Strikeforce in June, defeating Robbie Lawler via guillotine submission in a 182-pound catchweight bout.

The current Strikeforce middleweight champion, Cung Le, has yet to defend the title since defeating Frank Shamrock in March 2008. Since then, he has put his fighting career on hold to appear in a number of films, most recently Fighting.

According to Le's page, he currently has one film completed, three in post-production, and two in production. In other words, his schedule seems pretty full at the moment. Coker also mentioned that Le is getting married on August 8.

Coker would not say who Shields will be facing for the title, or exactly when and where this fight would take place.

The Vancouver Sun recently reported that Shields was in preliminary talks to face Matt Lindland or Vitor Belfort for the interim title in August, but "but Showtime TV executives wanted to give him more prominent billing." Belfort is currently scheduled to face Jorge Santiago at "Affliction: Trilogy" on August, so that match-up seems doubtful. However, a fight against the highly-respected Lindland would make a whole lot of sense at the moment.

Note: stay tuned for FanHouse's full video interview with Coker in the coming days.