The reported bout between Jake Shields and Joe Riggs at Strikeforce’s April 11th Showtime debut is now off. Instead, Shields will look to make his promotional debut in a middleweight bout with former EliteXC champion Robbie Lawler in May, Strikeforce confirmed at a Hollywood California press conference on Thursday. The event is set for May 16 in Tacoma, Washington and is also expected to feature a light heavyweight title fight.
Both Shields and Lawler have been held out of action due to the October collapse of EliteXC, though Shields has fought more recently, submitting Paul Daley on October 4. Lawler on the other hand last fought in a technical knockout victory over Scott Smith in July. Before Strikeforce made the deal to acquire some EliteXC assets, including around forty fighter contracts, there were rumors that both fighters were being considered for acquisition by the UFC, if they could get out of their ProElite contracts.
Shields is a ground ace trained under Cesar Gracie, with notable wins over Hayato Sakurai, Yushin Okami, and Carlos Condit. Though he normally fights in the Welterweight division, he had previously mentioned an interest in moving up to Middleweight to potentially test himself against either Lawler or Affliction fighter, Matt Lindland.
Lawler is traditionally a stand up fighter training with Matt Hughes’ H.I.T. Squad, and holding notable wins over Chris Lytle, Frank Trigg, and Murilo Rua. Lawler began his career in the welterweight division, but later moved up to Middleweight, where he has remained.
There have been no indications whether or not Riggs will remain on the April 11 card against another opponent. To see more of the rumored card for the May event, visit our May Strikeforce rumors page, or you can view the updated April 11 card on our Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz rumors page.