According to ProElite.com:
The EliteXC Welterweight Championship bout was cancelled due to an undisclosed injury sustained by Jake Shields.
The bout was scheduled to take place on the EliteXC/Strikeforce event airing on Showtime this Saturday March 29th. No word on whether there will be a replacement opponent for Fickett.
Update [2008-3-25 16:58:54 by Nick Thomas]: More details:
When did you hurt your back? Sometime last week.
Did you think at that time that you would have to pull out of the fight? Possibilty, but I thought that I could pull out of it. I had had minor back injuries before, but nothing this serious. It was locking as I was training, and it just wasn't getting any better. Because I was pushing it, it was causing it not to heal.
What were you doing to rehab it? Going to the Acupuncturist, massage therapist, chiropractor. I tried everything, and it made improvements, but it wasnt enough so I took a plane to LA to see Dr Goldman. He made a 30% improvement after one session. I had 4 sessions with him. and then would go to work out every day afterwards and make it worse again. It was like 2 steps forward and one step back.
What made you decide to pull the from the fight? I couldn't really bend, so there was no way that I could shoot. I also couldn't get up from the bottom. I could only throw straight punches and no kicks. I felt ok on top in guard, but if you can't get a guy with a take down, what good is that going to do? And I was also concerned about further injuring myself by fighting with such a serious back problem. Now I can rehab it and come back much stronger in the future.
Anything you want to say to Drew? Yes, I want to apologize to Drew Ficket. I knows how hard he's been training. I also know what it's like to have an opponent pull out last minute. It sucks, and I'm sorry. I have a lot of respect for drew and was looking forward to an all out war. I hope to have the opportunity to step into the cage with him in the future.
Anything to say to the fans? I have never pulled out of a fight before. I want to apologize to all the fans who were planning on watching me fight. I feel that it's the best for my future to pull out now and come back stronger later on. I appreciate all the support that you have shown me over the years.
Gilbert Melendez, Jake Shields, Brandon Vera, Nick Diaz and Nathan Diaz prepare for upcoming bouts at Team Faritex in the Bay Area.