When fighters talk about shifting weight classes, the vast majority of them talk about dropping down a weight class. It’s commonplace for fighters to go as far down as they can to have the greatest size advantage possible over their competition.
UFC welterweight contender Jake Shields is taking a different tack. He’s looking at making the move up.
Fuel TV’s UFC Tonight on Tuesday night reported that Shields is moving up to the 185-pound division later this year, likely in July or August.
Shields, however, told MMAWeekly.com that the move up to middleweight is not yet definitive. He said he has changed up his weight training routine and diet to see if things move in the right direction for him to make the move, but he’s not ready to totally commit until he gives his body a chance to respond.
Shields has held titles both at welterweight and middleweight, so a move back up isn’t heading into foreign territory. Shields, in fact, was the Strikeforce middleweight champion before moving over to the UFC in 2010, having successfully defended his belt against Dan Henderson.
Such a move would be a first for Shields in the Octagon, where he has competed solely at welterweight up to this point.
(Damon Martin contributed to this report.)