Josh Gross
Thursday August 21st, 2008

EliteXC welterweight champion Jake Shields and Englishman Paul Daley have verbally agreed to fight Oct. 4 on CBS, SI.com has learned.

Shields (21-4-1) captured the vacant title on July 26 in just 63 seconds by choking Nick Thompson with a modified guillotine from the mount. The bout against Daley (18-6-2) will mark Shields' first defense of the 170-pound title.

Daley, a 25-year-old striker with stoppages in 13 of his 18 victories, was said to desire more time before facing Shields, who at the age of 29 is one of the top submission fighters in mixed martial arts. However, a dearth of welterweight contenders outside the ranks of the UFC compelled EliteXC and Daley to make the fight.

Unbeaten in 10 contests since 2004, including victories over current WEC welterweight champion Carlos Condit and UFC middleweight contender Yushin Okami, Shields should be a clear favorite against Daley, winner of his last half dozen fights since losing to Luiz Azeredo in 2006.

EliteXC vice president Jared Shaw also told SI.com that a Thursday 8 p.m. ET deadline was set for K.J. Noons (7-2), the organization's lightweight champion, to sign a bout agreement that would put him on the Oct. 4 card against Nick Diaz.

Noons, 25, won the vacant 160-pound title last November with a one-round doctor's stoppage after cutting Diaz's face with punches and knees. Noons followed up this June in his home state of Hawaii with a quick technical knockout over Yves Edwards. After the bout Diaz (18-7, 1 NC), who also won that night against an undersized Muhsin Corbbrey, tangled with Noons and his camp in an in-cage brawl.

Noons, who has two bouts remaining on his current contract, needed to "act like a champion" and face any challenger EliteXC puts in front of him, said Shaw, who would not elaborate on repercussions should Noons fail to agree to the fight.

Reached for comment Wednesday evening, Noons' manager, Mark Dion, declined to address Shaw's statements or the status of a potential title defense against Diaz.

Also slated to appear on the card, which is set for the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla., are Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.