Jake Shields will meet Brian Foster at the main event of MMA World Series of Fighting 17 in Las Vegas tonight, but many already are pegging the longtime welterweight contender for a title shot.

Waiting in the wings is WSOF titlist Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares, whose feared leg lock attacks has earned him first round submission victories in his last three bouts.

This week, Shields revealed that he’s indeed to fight Palhares next, provided he wins tonight.

“It’s my understanding that if I win, I’ll be fighting for a title,” Shields said in a recent interview on MMAjunkie Radio. “That’s obviously what I’m looking at. I’m not looking past Foster, but Palhares is a good opponent.”

Shields has earned a 30-7-1 record in an almost 16 year MMA career, including a fourteen fight winning streak from 2005 to 2010. That stretch saw him earn championship belts for Elite XC and Strikeforce, by scoring wins over the likes of future UFC and PRIDE FC titleholders Dan Henderson, Robbie Lawler, and Carlos Condit.

Tonight, the American Jiu-Jitsu specialist takes on Brian Foster, a nine year MMA pro who has, somewhat quietly, earned a 22-6 record in the sport. Foster’s career was highlighted by a brief run in the UFC where he defeated current contender Matt Brown with a guillotine choke.

Foster took to BJPenn.com to evince his frustration with the UFC and their handling of his career after the victory. Foster describes the UFC as refusing to allow him to fight, even after a successful surgery due to a brain hemorrhage.

“Everyone has said I stand no more of a chance of getting injured than the next guy in there,” Foster claims. “It’s on them, they’re protecting their own asses I guess, which I don’t blame them, whatever, they tend to not really give a f— about other people’s dreams, as much as they do their own political f—ing reasons.”

WSOF 16 will begin at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT and will be televised on NBC Sports Network.