UFC President Dana White is apparently reconsidering his promise to award Jon Fitch the next title shot at 170 pounds, a shot which he was believed to have earned after defeating Thiago Alves at UFC 117. White has been backpedaling on Fitch’s title shot slightly and currently seems to be content with taking his time and watching how the welterweight landscape evolves after a couple of pivotal bouts take place before officially declaring (again?) who the next welterweight title challenger will be.
“I want to wait for [Josh] Koscheck and St. Pierre to happen and we’ll figure out who gets the next shot,” White said during a recent appearance on The Fight Fix. “By then, Jake Shields will have fought [Martin] Kampmann and we’ll see what happens. A lot of it is timing too.”
As White alluded to, UFC Welterweight Champion Georges “Rush” St. Pierre is currently set to take on American Kickboxing Academy product Josh Koscheck this December (UFC 124, unofficially) upon the conclusion of this next season of The Ultimate Fighter where the two men appeared as opposing coaches. St. Pierre and Koscheck have met once before, with St. Pierre dominating Koscheck en route to a unanimous decision win.
UFC newcomer Jake Shields is presumably being groomed for a title shot (though a bout against Dutch striker Martin Kampmann is no walk in the park) considering that he enters the UFC technically still the Strikeforce Middleweight Champion. Shields defeated former UFC fighter and Pride FC champion Dan Henderson to make his first and only title defense before exiting the Strikeforce promotion for the more high-profile proving grounds of the UFC. A match up between Sheilds and St. Pierre may be more appealing to White since Fitch has previously challenged for St. Pierre’s title and was dominated thoroughly over five rounds.