Jake Shields has revealed he has every intention of claiming the belt on the NBC-broadcast main card of WSOF 34 by finishing Jon Fitch early.

He has however refrained from speaking fowl about WSOF welterweight champ Jon Fitch, stating instead that he has much respect for Fitch.

Speaking to MMAjunkie Radio, the experienced welterweight revealed that he has always wanted to lock horns with a talented fighter as Fitch.

“He’s a guy I’ve got a lot of respect for, so I’m certainly not going to talk any (expletive) on Fitch, He’s a great welterweight. He’s had a great career, and I think he’s still talented, so I’m excited to be fighting him for this title.

“It’s one of those fights I expected to happen years ago. I always thought me and Fitch would fight, both being NorCal guys, both being top-5 welterweights most of our career, I’m surprised we haven’t fought before,” he said.

The event is schedule to hold on December 31 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Shields (31-8-1) is looking already prepared to challenge Fitch (28-7-1) for the belt on the NBC-broadcast main card of WSOF 34.

Though the two veteran fighters have had their shares of victories, this will be the first time they lock horns directly. Shield has maintained that he is very excited to fight such a worthy opponent, and expressed admiration of Fitch’s physical and mental toughness. He admitted to MMAjunkie Radio that Fitch was indeed a dangerous opponent.

The 37-year-old fighter has had a relatively successful career. He has won several belts around the world with promotions such as Strikeforce, EliteXC and Shooto. However, adding a WSOF 34 belt to his accomplishments would be a welcomed victory.

“I’m just taking it one fight at a time, but I feel like my body hasn’t slowed down at all. I feel like I’m still fighting at the elite level and haven’t slowed down at all. If I start feeling like I’m slowing down, then that’s when I’ll retire. But I’m taking it one fight at a time at this point,” he added.