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Shields on cancelled WSOF title fight: 'They're playing bullsh-t little games'

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Jake Shields explains the contract dispute that forced him out of an upcoming title fight with Jon Fitch at WSOF 30.

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Jake Shields was pulled from a WSOF 30 welterweight title fight against fellow UFC veteran Jon Fitch, as announced by WSOF President Ray Sefo earlier this week. Sefo says Shields informed them that "he does not intend to honor the terms of his existing contract," and declined to sign the bout agreement.

However, Shields has a different story to tell.

"They're playing bullsh-t little games with me," Shields told MMAFighting.com.

Shields says his main concern was, if he went on to defeat Fitch, he would no longer be able to negotiate a new contract because of the championship clause. Shields has one fight left on his four-fight deal with WSOF, therefore his fight with Fitch would have been the last on his current contract.

"They basically said they were just going to sit on my contract," Shields said. "It was take the title fight, or no fight at all. I signed the contract I signed of my own free will, I'm not complaining about that, but it's either take the title fight and get stuck with my old deal if I win, or no other fight. This is happening right when I was about to start my camp."

The UFC veteran also wanted more show money on his current contract, and believed they were close to agreeing on a deal. With that being said, they did not come to an agreement on the contractual terms.

"We weren't that far off on money," Shields said. "I'm still open to signing a new contract with them, or I'm willing to take another fight and finish out my contract. It's the whole ‘take the title fight or nothing else' thing that bugs me."

Stepping in for Shields is Joao Zeferino, who is returning to the 170-pound division after competing in the WSOF lightweight tournament last year. Zeferino picked up wins in the quarterfinals and semi-finals, but lost to Brian Foster in the finals by TKO. Fitch vs. Zeferino headlines WSOF 30 in April, although no specific date or location has been announced at this time.