EliteXC is starting to flesh out its upcoming July 26 fight card set to be the promotion's second show on CBS Television. The event will now feature at least two title bouts as Jake Shields will finally get his opportunity to fight for the welterweight title against Nick "The Goat" Thompson as first reported by Dave Meltzer at Yahoo! Sports.
The bout will serve as the co-main event along with the previously announced title fight pitting a rematch between Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith for the EliteXC middleweight title.
Thompson, who most recently competed in Japan for the Sengoku promotion, comes home to the United States for one of the biggest match-ups in his career.
Having just returned from defeating Chute Boxe fighter Michael Costa on June 8, Thompson was settling in to take some time off and prepare for the bar exam, but the chance to face a high profile opponent and do so on network television put his mind back on fighting.
"Those were the two biggest things. One was I wanted to fight (Jake) Shields, that's been my number one choice for a fight for a long time. Jake and I are the No. 1 and No. 2 guys not in the UFC and I think we both wanted this fight," said Thompson in an exclusive interview with MMAWeekly.com "And two, to fight on CBS for the title is a huge opportunity, exposure wise."
The Minnesota Martial Arts Academy standout was the last Bodog Fight welterweight champion and now he will fight Shields for the new EliteXC 170-pound title as the first bout on his new six-fight deal with the promotion.
With his last two fights taking place in Japan, Thompson is looking forward to coming home, but says that he will still fight for Sengoku again in the future.
"It's a perfect opportunity because EliteXC's still going to let me fight in Japan, which I love, and I get to fight in front of a U.S. audience, which is more accessible to my fans, all three of them," Thompson commented with a laugh.
While no venue has officially been announced, current speculation is that the show will take place in California, possibly in the Bay Area, to pull from California fighters such as Shields and Smith who are on the card.
On paper, the match-up between Shields and Thompson could be one of the most technical fights between two of the best all around fighters in the world at 170 pounds.
More fights are expected to be announced from EliteXC in the coming weeks.