Cung Le vacates Strikeforce title; Shields-MayheM booked for November 7th
Fri, 2009-09-18 12:59 — Bevois
Friday, September 18, 2009
by Brian Knapp
One-time EliteXC welterweight king Jake Shields will meet Jason “Mayhem” Miller for the vacant Strikeforce middleweight belt at Strikeforce “Fedor vs. Rogers” on Nov. 7, officials within the promotion confirmed on Friday. MMAWeekly.com was first to report the matchup.
Former Strikeforce middleweight titleholder Cung Le has vacated the championship to pursue interests outside the cage.
“He was not stripped,” Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said via text. “We had a conversation, and we both agreed it was the right thing to do.”
A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Cesar Gracie, the 30-year-old Shields will carry a 12-fight winning streak into the match. He has finished his last eight opponents, six of them by submission. Shields last appeared in June, when he coaxed a tapout from former EliteXC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler with first-round guillotine choke. The California native also holds notable victories against Yushin Okami, Hayato “Mach” Sakurai, one-time Bodog Fight welterweight champion Nick Thompson and former World Extreme Cagefighting titleholder Carlos Condit. Shields has been finished only once in 28 career bouts.
Miller, meanwhile, has not competed since his Dream 9 rematch with Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza ended in a no contest four months ago. One of the sport’s most colorful characters, he also holds a submission victory against Lawler, having finished the UFC veteran with an arm-triangle choke at an Icon Sport show in 2006. Miller, 28, has delivered 17 of his 22 career wins by knockout, technical knockout or submission.
Strikeforce officials believe Le will compete again for the promotion at some point. His fledgling acting career has kept him out of the cage since he defeated Frank Shamrock for the middleweight crown in March 2008.
A heavyweight showdown between former Pride Fighting Championships titleholder Fedor Emelianenko and undefeated Brett Rogers will headline the Strikeforce event. Though a venue has not been announced, the Sears Centre Arena in Chicago has emerged as the frontrunner.
Tagged: On The Mat