With Cung Le missing in action for more than a year to focus on a career in the movies, Jake Shields has been tabbed to fight for an interim championship made in his absence against an opponent yet to be announced.
Strikeforce President Scott Coker recently confirmed the news Monday evening during an interview with TapouT Radio, explaining that the current Strikeforce 185 pound champion is a man of many obligations at the moment.
“With Cung, he has a couple of obligations,” Coker began to explain. “He has fight obligations for us, and then he has obligations for some movie deals that he has signed on to.”
However, luckily for us, the fans of the sport, Coker and Strikeforce are stepping up to do the right thing in this situation.
“What we will do for Cung is, in October, we’re going to let somebody fight for the interim belt,” said Coker.
“We’re going to offer it to Jake [Shields], and give Jake a chance at the interim belt. Then we’ll try to put Cung together with the winner of that before the end of the year.”
Sporting an impressive record of 23-4-1 and compiling wins over the likes of Yushin Okami, Carlos Condit and Paul Daley, Shields rapidly earned a reputation as one of the most feared competitors at 170 pounds before recently jumping up to middleweight where he submitted “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler in the first round at “Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields” in June. The Cesar Gracie trained Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt has not suffered a defeat in his last dozen outings.
With Jake Shields now expected to face an undetermined opponent for the Strikeforce interim middleweight crown, and Fedor Emelianenko and Alistair Overeem both expected to make separate appearances on the same card, the October Strikeforce event is quickly shaping up to be the best in the promotion’s history.