LAS VEGAS -- Less than an hour after Rousimar Palhares defeated Steve Carl to become the WSOF welterweight champion, the leglock savant's first title defense highlighted a trio of major fights announced by the promotion.
Palhares (16-5) will look to defend his belt against fellow UFC veteran Jon Fitch (25-6-1, 1 NC) in the main event of WSOF 11, which is expected to take place in July. An exact date and venue have yet to be finalized.
In addition, a lightweight title fight between reigning WSOF champion Justin Gaethje (11-0) and undefeated one-handed fighter Nick Newell (11-0) will serve as the co-main headlining bout of the event, which is also expected to feature the MMA return of kickboxing superstar Tyrone Spong (2-0).
WSOF matchmaker Ali Abdel-Aziz confirmed the bouts on Saturday night following the conclusion of WSOF 9.
Palhares needed just 69 seconds to defeat Carl via inverted heel hook in his WSOF debut. Fitch, meanwhile, is 1-1 within the promotion, having lost his debut against Josh Burkman only to rebound with a split decision victory over Marcelo Alfaya.
Gaethje is 4-0 since signing with WSOF, with all four of those victories coming via TKO. He most recently finished Rich Patishnock in 69 seconds to claim the inaugural WSOF lightweight title.
By contrast, Newell is 2-0 under the WSOF banner, defeating both Keon Caldwell and Sabah Fadai via submission in a combined 3:28.