Rousimar Palhares (17-6) will defend his World Series of Fighting (WSOF) welterweight title for the second time when he battles former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields (31-7-1, 1 NC) at WSOF 22.
WSOF held a press conference yesterday (July 30, 2015) to hype up the event and while it didn’t produce any fireworks from the main eventers, “Toquinho” and Shields still traded some barbs.
Palhares is no stranger to controversy. The 170-pound champion was cut and banned from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) for holding onto his heel hook submission well after the referee ended the contest. The final straw was his bout with Mike Pierce.
Shields made it clear at the press conference that the heel hook incidents left a bad taste in his mouth as a competitor:
“He hasn’t said anything bad about me, I think it’s just hurting people. It’s kind of bothered me, and a lot it is just myself. I’m ready for another belt as well. I’m mentally just psyched and in a good place and he’s the one who’s going to pay for it.”
Shields is known for being reserved heading into his fights. While the former UFC standout didn’t blow a lid, he wasn’t afraid to let “Toquinho” know of his intentions:
“I’m here to kick Palhares’ ass and take his belt. I think he’s an amazing fighter, but it’s my belt.”
Palhares didn’t shy away from Shields at the press conference. The current champion dared the challenger to give him his best shot:
“You know, Jake Shields talks a lot. He talks, talks, talks a lot, he says a lot of words. But we’re ready for a fight, not to talk or have a conversation. If you want my belt, go to the show and you’ll have the opportunity. I think it’s impossible.”
WSOF 22 will take place at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas this Saturday night (Aug. 1, 2015). The card will also feature a bantamweight title bout between Marlon Moraes and Sheymon Moraes. The main card will begin at 11 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network.