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Rousimar Palhares to undergo knee surgery on Friday, eyes July return against Jake Shields

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Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

Rousimar Palhares is going under the knife Friday night.

The World Series of Fighting welterweight champion, who defended his title with a 90-second submission over Jon Fitch in December, will undergo a left knee arthroscopic surgery in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

According to his manager Alex Davis, "Toquinho" will start physical therapy next week and is expected to be cleared to compete again in July, putting his title on the line against former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields. The leglock expert should be able to train again in two weeks.

Palhares, 3-0 under the WSOF banner with quick first-round submissions, plans on scoring another finish when he meets Shields later this year.

"(Shields) can talk now because when the time comes, the victory will be mine," Palhares told MMAFighting.com earlier this year. "I don’t know if it’s just confidence, I just know that the victory will be mine. No doubt about it because we’re both from jiu-jitsu – at least I am – so it’s my fight and I will win. When I put my hands on him, he will realize who he’s fighting."