Submission wizard Rousimar Palhares will defend his World Series of Fighting welterweight title on Dec. 13 against fellow UFC veteran Jon Fitch, and the next contender will be defined Saturday night.
Jake Shields will headline the WSOF 14 card in Edmonton, Alberta, on Oct. 11 against Ryan Ford, and the winner of the 170-pound match-up will earn a shot at the belt in 2015.
"The winner of this fight is the No. 1 contender," WSOF executive vice president Ali Abdel-Aziz told MMAFighting.com. "He will fight the winner of Palhares vs. Fitch in the beginning of next year."
Abdel-Aziz expects a "close match" in Shields vs. Ford, but doesn’t think it will last 15 minutes.
"A lot of people are discounting Ryan Ford, but I think Ryan Ford is going to give Jake Shields a very hard time," he said. "I think it’s going to be a very close match, (but) I don’t think this fight is going to the decision. Jake Shields taking him down and submitting him, or Ryan Ford knocking him out. It’s going to be very difficult for this fight to go to a decision."
WSOF 14 takes place at the Edmonton Expo Centre in Canada, and Abdel-Aziz is excited about the fight card, which features Smealinho Rama vs. Derrick Mehmen for the inaugural heavyweight championship in the co-main event.
"I think we’re having really good cards back-to-back," he said. "This weekend, Jake Shields fighting Ryan Ford for the No. 1 contender, and our first heavyweight title fight between very good talented guys."