Rousimar Palhares will put his World Series of Fighting welterweight belt on the line in August.
"Toquinho" is set to headline the WSOF 22 card on Aug. 1 in Las Vegas against former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields. WSOF has yet to officially announce the bout, but Palhares confirmed it on his Instagram page. MMA Junkie first reported the news.
Palhares (17-6) won the WSOF title with a 69-second submission victory over Steve Carl on March 29, 2014, and defended it for the first time in December, tapping Jon Fitch with a kneebar. "Toquinho" is 3-0 since cutting down to 170 pounds with three first-round finishes.
Shields (31-7-1, 1 no-contest) earned a shot at the WSOF gold after back-to-back first-round submissions under the promotion’s banner over Brian Foster and Ryan Ford, finishing fights for the first time since a first-round guillotine choke over Robbie Lawler in 2009.
Right after a win over Foster, Shields sent a message to Palhares.
"He's holding my belt for me," Shields said. "I'm going to go out there and whip his ass. He's a dirty fighter breaking everyone's legs and ankles. I'm going to go out there and I'm going to take his knee out. I'm not scared of him and I'm going to bring it to him."
Speaking to MMAFighting.com in January, Palhares fired back.
"What this guy said about me is weird, but even parrot's talk. Now it’s time to work hard and see who’s the best," Palhares said. "You know why he was so mad? Because he knows he has to fight me now and knows that he will lose, that I will submit him. He trains jiu-jitsu, he knows that.
"He can talk now because when the time comes, the victory will be mine. 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."