Former UFC welterweight Jake Shields has signed a contract with World Series of Fighting.
WSOF executive Shawn Lampman confirmed the news with Bleacher Report on Thursday afternoon. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but WSOF matchmaker Ali Abdelaziz told ESPN's Brett Okamoto that it is a four-fight contract.
Shields was recently released from the UFC after a UFC 171 loss to Hector Lombard. He went 4-3 with one no contest under the UFC banner since making his debut for the promotion with a win over Martin Kampmann in 2010. Shields went on to face Georges St-Pierre for the welterweight title in a losing effort at UFC 129. It was the largest event attendance for a UFC show to date.
Prior to the loss to Lombard, Shields had scored consecutive victories over Demian Maia and Tyron Woodley. He was considered an outside contender for the welterweight title if he'd beaten Lombard. But the loss, coupled with his pricey contract and a style that is less than pleasing to fans, resulted in his release.
Shields said in a statement that he's excited for the next phase of his career.
"I am very excited to be fighting for the World Series of Fighting. They have one of if not the best welterweight divisions in the world and I look forward to fighting great fighters like Jon Fitch, Rousimar Palhares, Josh Burkman, Gerald Harris and more," Shields said in a statement to Bleacher Report. "I also believe I will now be in an environment where fighters are embraced which will allow my performance at my very best! My first fight for WSOF will be soon so stay tuned. My thanks to the MMA community and fans for all the love and support."
Shields is the second high-profile signing for World Series of Fighting this summer. It recently signed veteran lightweight Melvin Guillard after Guillard was released from the UFC.