(Our thoughts exactly.)
I would take this as a clear sign that EliteXC’s welterweight belt is cursed by poltergeists and refuses to be possessed by mortals.
The championship fight between top 170-pound contender Jake Shields and challenger Drew Fickett for EliteXC’s vacant welterweight title has been postponed for a second time, as it was announced today that Fickett has injured his knee and will not be able to compete at EliteXC’s June 14th event in Honolulu, Hawaii. The two fighters were originally supposed to meet at “Shamrock vs. Le” on March 29th, but Shields pulled a muscle in his back days before the event, and Fickett took on Jae Suk Lim instead, winning by guillotine choke in the first round. Luckily, Shields doesn’t seem to be too disappointed by Fickett’s injury, as his back may not be 100% recovered yet anyway. As he told MMAWeekly:
“I think I could be okay to fight by (June 14), but I think opting for July would probably be the smartest thing. It would give me more time to rehab before jumping into sparring, and I think there would be a little more exposure with it being on CBS (in July).”
The June 14th card still features K.J. Noons defending his lightweight title against Yves Edwards, as well as fights between Nick Diaz and Muhsin Corbbrey, Murilo “Ninja” Rua vs. Tony Bonello, Rafael Feijao vs. Wayne Cole, and Ron Waterman vs. Dave Herman.
Speaking of Diaz, the pot-abusing lightweight has joined the lineup of DREAM.3 (May 11th; Saitama, Japan), where he’ll take on Katsuya Inoue, a two-time welterweight King of Pancrase with a career record of 16-5-3. Reportedly, the winner of that fight will face Hayato Sakurai for DREAM’s welterweight title in July or September. (I guess not all the belts will be awarded via chaotic grand prix.) With this addition, DREAM.3′s mighty, mighty lineup is looking like this:
Middleweight GP Round 1 Fight
Jason Miller vs. Katsuyori Shibata
Middleweight GP Reserve Fight
Melvin Manhoef vs. Kim Dae Won
Nick Diaz vs. Katsuya Inoue (welterweights)
Jung Bukyung vs. Daisuke Nakamura (lightweights)
Takeshi Yamazaki vs. TBA (featherweights)