After having lost his first three scheduled opponents, Jon Fitch on Thursday was paired up with Dennis Hallman, the fourth man in line to accept a bout with the former UFC contender. Hallman confirmed the bout to MMAWeekly.com on Thursday following an initial report by MMAFighting.com.
Fitch (25-6-1, 1 NC) had originally been slated to challenge welterweight champion Rousimar Palhares for his belt at WSOF 11 on July 5 at the Ocean Center in Daytona, Fla. Palhares, however, had to withdraw from the bout to help care for his mother, who is suffering from a serious illness.
Next up on the list was Jake Shields, another UFC refugee that would have made for what most considered an enticing substitute. Shields withdrew from the bout due to a shoulder injury.
After Shields fell off the card, Fitch was paired with Josh Burkman for a rubber match. Fitch defeated Burkman while the two were in the UFC, but Burkman returned the favor, upsetting Fitch in his WSOF debut.
Burkman on Wednesday had to drop out of the fight as well, due to an elbow injury, according to MMAFighting.com.
Scrambling, WSOF officials signed 70-fight veteran Dennis Hallman, who had been slated to take part in the Battlegrounds MMA eight-man, one-night tournament on June 27.
Hallman is now out of the tournament and into the WSOF 11 co-main event, with company officials and Fitch crossing fingers and toes, hoping that nothing happens to disrupt this pairing.
If all goes as planned, Fitch vs. Hallman will be the main supporting act for the title fight between WSOF lightweight champion Justin Gaethje and Nick Newell, which headlines the card.
WSOF 11 will be the first mixed martial arts event to air live on NBC. The live, NBC-broadcast four-fight main card begins at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT, so as to avoid going head to head with UFC 175, which airs on pay-per-view on July 5 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.