WORLD SERIES OF FIGHTING:
JON FITCH-JAKE SHIELDS
WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP SHOWDOWN SET FOR
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12 IN LOVELAND, COLORADO
LIVE ON NBCSN
Josh Copeland vs. Smealinho Rama in heavyweight battle
Paul Bradley vs. Yushin Okami in welterweight collision
Tickets for WSOF34 on sale Friday, Sept. 16
LAS VEGAS (September 13, 2016) – World Series of Fighting (www.WSOF.com) officially announced today the highly-anticipated welterweight (170 pounds) title fight between reigning world champion Jon Fitch (28-7-1, 1 NC) and number one contender and fellow decorated superstar Jake Shields (31-8-1) for Saturday, Nov. 12 at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colo., live on NBCSN at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT.
Priced from $20, tickets for “WSOF34: Fitch vs. Shields” go on sale on Friday, Sept. 16 at the Budweiser Events Center box office, BudweiserEventsCenter.com, or by phone at 1-877-544-TIXX.
“This is a fight between two of the sport’s most seasoned and accomplished competitors, and a matchup that has been building for quite some time, so we are excited to see it finally come to fruition in the decagon cage, and to crown the better man that night, our world welterweight champion,” said World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo.
In addition to the main event, World Series of Fighting announced a featured heavyweight attraction pitting Josh “Cuddly Bear” Copeland (13-4) against former champion Smealinho “The Prince” Rama (9-2), as well as the promotional debut of battle-tested Paul Bradley (23-6), who will take on former top 10 world-ranked Yushin “Thunder” Okami (32-10) in a welterweight affair.
Additional matchups for “WSOF34: Fitch vs. Shields” will be announced soon.
Jon Fitch vs. Jake Shields
The 6-foot, 38-year-old Fitch of Las Vegas, Nev. via Fort Wayne, Ind. will put his title on the line for the second time since seizing the vacant belt on October 17, 2015, when he earned a unanimous decision over Yushin Okami.
Fitch, who has faced and defeated some of the best rival welterweight fighters of his era to cement his legacy in the sport, risked his World Series of Fighting title for the first time on April 2, defeating Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Joao Zeferino by way of unanimous decision.
Fighting out of San Francisco, Calif., the 6-foot, 37-year-old Shields will seek his fourth major world championship. The Cesar Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt held both the Shooto and EliteXC welterweight straps as well as the Strikeforce middleweight crown.
Like Fitch, Shields has provided fight fans with a host of memories, including his unforgettable, upset unanimous decision defeat of future Hall of Famer Dan Henderson on April 17, 2010. Shields also boasts a split decision win over reigning UFC champion Tyron Woodley as well as a split decision victory over UFC superstar Demian Maia.
Josh Copeland vs. Smealinho Rama
The 6-foot-1, 33-year-old Copeland is coming off what was perhaps the grittiest performance of his four-year professional career in his bid for the World Series of Fighting heavyweight title against reigning champion Blagoy Ivanov. Copeland stood toe-to-toe and held his own against the Sambo champion, but was left on the losing end of a unanimous decision after five competitive rounds of action.
Copeland, who has notched 7 of his 12 professional victories by way of (T)KO or submission, earned his place in the world title fight by taking a unanimous decision from Mike “300” Hayes at WSOF29 on March 12.
The 6-foot-1, 24-year-old Rama of Calgary, Alberta, Canada made history on October 11, 2014, becoming the first-ever World Series of Fighting heavyweight champion by scoring a devastating, 51-second TKO (punches) on Derrick “Caveman” Mehman at WSOF14.
Rama, who also holds a unanimous decision win over Steve Mocco in the World Series of Fighting decagon cage, surrendered the heavyweight title after being submitted (guillotine choke) by Ivanov in the third round (1:17) of their bout on June 5, 2015.
Paul Bradley vs. Yushin Okami
One of World Series of Fighting’s recent, high-profile acquisitions, the 5-foot-9, 33-year-old Bradley of San Diego, Calif. signed with the league after decimating previously unbeaten Chris Honeycutt by way of TKO (punches) in just 40 seconds in the Bellator MMA cage on January 29, 2016.
A former, two-time All-American wrestling star for NCAA Division I University of Iowa, Bradley placed as high as fourth in the national championships before turning to MMA in 2006 where he has since faced off with elite competition in the UFC and Strikeforce.
Similar to his opponent, the 6-foot-2, 35-year-old Okami of Kanagawa, Japan has scrapped with top-level, world ranked competition to earn his place in the decagon cage.
Since the loss to Fitch, Okami, a veteran of the UFC as well as PRIDE, has since reeled off two consecutive victories in his home country – a second round (4:23) TKO (corner stoppage) of Ryuta Sakurai in Tokyo on February 27, and a first round (2:06) submission (rear-naked choke) of Shingo Suzuki on July 24.
ABOUT WORLD SERIES OF FIGHTING
"World Series of Fighting" (WSOF) is a worldwide premier, professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight promotion partnered with NBC, NBCSN and international media distribution giant, IMG. Established in 2012 and headquartered in Las Vegas with satellite offices in New York City and Boston, the company is dedicated to delivering an incredible experience for sports fans by producing action-packed, live fights between elite athletes from around the world. With 32 events under its belt, the company will have produced 10 live events in 8 different U.S. markets in 2016, including 4 live dates between October 7 and December 31, when it heads to The Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City for the first time in history. For more information please visit WSOF.com and follow "World Series of Fighting" on Twitter @MMAWorldSeries. WSOF and World Series of Fighting are registered trademarks of MMAWC, LLC.
About The Ranch, Larimer County Fairgrounds and Events Complex
The Ranch, Larimer County Fairgrounds and Events Complex, located in Loveland, Colorado, opened in 2003 and is owned and operated by Larimer County. The Ranch consists of the Budweiser Events Center, the Ranch-Way Feeds Indoor Arena and Livestock Pavilions, the First National Bank Exhibition Halls, and the Thomas M. McKee 4-H Youth & Community Building. The Ranch hosts more than 2,000 events annually and is home to the Larimer County Fair and PRCA Rodeo. For more information, visit www.TREventComplex.com.
Spectra by Comcast Spectacor is the expert in hosting and entertainment, partnering with over 300 clients at 400 global properties to create memorable experiences for millions of visitors every year. Spectra’s expertise is embodied within three divisions: Venue Management (formerly Global Spectrum), Food Services & Hospitality (formerly Ovations Food Services) and Ticketing & Fan Engagement (formerly Paciolan). All three divisions are in place at the Budweiser Events Center at The Ranch, a 7,200 seat multi-purpose venue that is home to the Colorado Eagles of the ECHL and the Colorado Crush of the Indoor Football League. Learn more at SpectraExperiences.com.