(If you think I’m going to waste my time thinking of a funny caption for this photo, you are out of your damn mind. / Props: Esther Lin)
Fresh off his kind-of-unfair-but-whatever firing by the UFC, welterweight veteran Jake Shields has signed a multi-fight contract with the World Series of Fighting, according to BleacherReport’s Jeremy Botter.
“I am very excited to be fighting for the World Series of Fighting. They have one of if not the best welterweight divisions in the world* and I look forward to fighting great fighters like Jon Fitch, Rousimar Palhares, Josh Burkman, Gerald Harris and more,” Shields said in a statement to Bleacher Report. “I also believe I will now be in an environment where fighters are embraced which will allow my performance at my very best! My first fight for WSOF will be soon so stay tuned. My thanks to the MMA community and fans for all the love and support.”
Between the guys that Shields listed, and other UFC castoffs like Yushin Okami and Melvin Guillard, WSOF isn’t just taking the UFC’s leftovers — they’re constructing a bizarre alternate reality in which we’ve all warped back to the year 2007 or something. WSOF should rename itself “UFC Classic” and see if they can draw Matt Hughes out of retirement. The crazy part is, people are legitimately excited about this. Here’s one representative tweet we got after the news broke:
Really bro? Where were all you Jake Shields and Jon Fitch superfans hiding back when it actually mattered? Because those guys might still be in the UFC if you had spoken up back then. But now that they’re tussling with Josh Burkman for free on the NBC Sports Network, you’re psyched all of a sudden?
That’s better. Shields will reportedly make his debut this summer against an opponent to be named later.
* “One of if not the best” — I think we could have just stopped at “one of,” Jake.