The exciting, stylistic mixed martial arts (MMA) match between top-ranked fighters “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (16-4) and Jake Shields (22-4-1) has been set for Saturday, June 6, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo., it was announced today by Strikeforce Founder and CEO Scott Coker.
The event will be televised live on SHOWTIME® at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
Tickets for Strikeforce: “Lawler vs. Shields”, priced from $30, go on sale on Monday, April 13, at 10 a.m. CT, at the Scottrade Center box office as well as at all Ticketmaster locations (800-745-3000), Ticketmaster online (www.ticketmaster.com), and Strikeforce’s official website (www.strikeforce.com).
Lawler, a world top-10 middleweight, and Shields, ranked among the top-5 welterweights in the world, will face off at a catch weight of 182 lbs.
“It’s a great opportunity to fight another top-ranked fighter,” said the hard-hitting, 27-year-old Lawler, a former high school football star known for the stunning knockout power in his fists. “Scott Coker really stepped up and I’m glad to be fighting for him and Strikeforce,” continued Lawler, who was one of many fighters acquired in Strikeforce’s asset purchase from ProElite, Inc., earlier this year. “We were all unsure of where our next fight would be (referring to the former EliteXC stable of fighters), so we’re glad someone with his experience stepped in. He has been good to us.”
A seven-time veteran of UFC action, Lawler attracted his biggest audience to date during his live CBS Television Network broadcast rematch with Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith, whom Lawler stopped with an onslaught of kicks and punches in the second round of their headlining matchup in Stockton, Calif., on July 26, 2008.
Born in San Diego, Calif., as an adolescent, Lawler relocated with his family to Bettendorf, Iowa, where at the age of 16 he became a protégé of MMA legend Pat Miletich. Two years ago, Lawler joined the fight squad captained by former Miletich teammate and all-time great Matt Hughes.
The 30 year-old Shields, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, is looking to notch his 12th consecutive victory. In his last start, he submitted the explosive Paul Daley with an armbar in the second round of their live CBS broadcast match in Sunrise, Fla., on October 4, 2008.
“It’s a fight that makes sense,” said Shields of his upcoming challenge. “We’re both already known to the SHOWTIME viewers. He’s a top middleweight and I’m a top-ranked welterweight. It makes me want to train really hard. I know I’ve got to be ready because, if I’m not, he’s going to kick me in the head or punch me and knock me out. I’m super-excited to come in at my best.”
Shields, who began wrestling at the age of nine, acknowledged that his advantage in the match with Lawler lies on the canvas.
“My grappling’s better than his striking. I’ve been working on my striking a lot, though,” said Shields, “and I think it’s a lot better than some people give me credit for. I’m not going to say I’m a better striker than Lawler because that would be stupid. Lawler is one of the better strikers out there.”
Doors at the Scottrade Center will open for Strikeforce: “Lawler vs. Shields” at 6:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, June 6. The first non-televised preliminary bout will begin at 7 p.m. The live SHOWTIME telecast begins at 10 pm ET/PT (tape delayed on the west coast).