In an interview with nokaut.com, Jake Shields seemingly confirms his next title defense will be against journeyman John Alessio:
Darrick: You just found out that you will be defending your title against John Alessio in about five weeks. What are your thoughts about this match?
Jake: I’m excited to be back at it. I trained all year without getting to fight until July, so I’m ready. I think John will be a good fight, he has good all-around skills and he always brings it. I’m sure he’ll be ready.
The fight wouldn’t seem to be any type of challenge for Shields. I still wonder why Zuffa wouldn’t keep Alessio under WEC contract as a veteran gatekeeper to test other welterweights. None the less, Alessio would be a solid future addition in EXC should he be kept. Scott Smith has proven himself to be very useful for the company after being let go by the UFC. Your past doesn’t matter if a majority of the viewing audience doesn’t know about it.