Jake Shields Wanted to Fight Jon Fitch, But Happy to Take Jake Ellenberger

August 10, 2011
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Jake Shields is, without a doubt, a top contender in the UFC and a world-class competitor in all of mixed martial arts. With stature like that, it’s reasonable to think he’d want to fight top competition in the welterweight division.

Well, at UFC Fight Night 25: Battle on the Bayou, Shields will get to work against top 10 welterweight Jake Ellenberger as part of the evening’s main event in New Orleans.

When he got the call to headline in the Louisiana event, Shields was a little taken back by it because he was hoping to be on the UFC 139 card in San Jose, Calif., on Nov. 19. Bouts with B.J. Penn or Jon Fitch seemed like the most attractive pairings for Shields, but those never materialized and Ellenberger is waiting for him, now.

Besides, fighting Ellenberger in New Orleans means being the main attraction. How could he turn that down?

“I fight whoever they tell me, but when they asked me (to fight) Ellenberger, my first reaction was I want to fight someone like B.J. or Fitch,” Shields said on MMAWeekly Radio Weekend Edition. “But they wanted me to fight Ellenberger and it was a main event. I’m willing to fight whoever they want. I’m not one to say no, especially if it’s a main event. So I said, ‘sure, I’ll do it.’ But I was hoping to fight Fitch on the San Jose card.”

Shields may take whoever the UFC offers him when it comes to fights, but it’s not as though he doesn’t think about other options within the organization. After all, Jon Fitch is still without an opponent and pairing him with Shields seems like a reasonable option. Both are in the top five of the division and have been considered No. 1 contenders recently.

Well, according the Shields, UFC brass was already set in their ways and had a plan laid out for him where they thought he fit best. And if “The Big Easy” is where they want him to fight, that’s where he’ll fight. It’s all good because Shields isn’t one to complain about being in the featured bout of the evening.

By complaining about that, one would have to be idiotic, right?

“I didn’t ask too many questions,” Shields said. “I just asked, ‘you know, what about Fitch?’ And they sounded like they were kind of set.

“Just being in a main event is a big thing. If I were to sit there to complain about that, I’d be an idiot.”

Admittedly, Shields says he doesn’t know much about his Jake counterpart, Ellenberger. But from what he’s seen so far, he’s in for a real tough fight. Where he sees an advantage against Ellenberger is where Shields typically holds the edge in most his fights: jiu-jitsu.

Shields works a style where he incorporates wrestling into his jiu-jitsu to make it more conducive to establishing offense on the ground. With Ellenberger already being a good wrestler with solid boxing skills, Shields will rely on his jiu-jitsu to pull out the win in the bayou.

“He looks like a tough wrestler with pretty good boxing,” he explained. “So, he’s just a basic tough guy, you know. Definitely not taking him lightly. He’s got a lot of power, so he’s got good knockout power, but I think he’s lacking in his jiu-jitsu, my strength.”

Anderson Silva at UFC 117Not that he’s looking past Ellenberger – or Fitch and Penn, for that matter – but Shields has always had a fight in his mind that he wants to take before his career is done. With his recent success at middleweight while under the Strikeforce banner, Shields found himself being a competitive 185-pounder. With that said, he desires a fight with the top of that division.

Jake Shields wants Anderson Silva.

Obviously, Silva isn’t getting any younger, so the fight would have to happen relatively soon. The UFC middleweight champion already has a long line of middleweights waiting to face him, so the likelihood that fans will get to see a Silva-Shields match-up is not very high.

Oh, well. One can think about it, though, and Shields thinks it’s a good match-up for him, stylistically. Most of the opponents that have done well against the 185-pound champ have a wrestling base, but Shields thinks his wrestling fused with jiu-jitsu is the key to bringing down Silva.

“I’ve always wanted to fight Anderson Silva, as well,” he said. “I know he’s getting close to the end of his career, so if that’s going to happen, it’d probably have to happen fairly soon.

“Stylistically, I think Anderson is a great fight for me. Some of these wrestlers have done really good against him, but the problem is he’s fighting these wrestlers like Chael, but then they’re not very good at jiu-jitsu, as well. They’re just more pure wrestlers.”

Still, Jake Ellenberger remains priority in Shields’ path. He’ll get the chance to prove his jiu-jitsu holds the edge at UFC Fight Night 25 on Sept. 17 in New Orleans.

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  • judo johnson

    Shields vs Fitch in San Jose would have been Epic!!!!!! it could have been the battle by the bay, if they do end up fighting each other i hope it is at the shark tank

  • Dranegoldhawk

    He was actually talking smack on Chael? Sonnen would pound this guy into never fighting again.

    • MrAdidas

      UGHHH where in this article do you see Shields talking smack about Chael? NOWHERE, b/c he didnt say anything -ve or disrespectful about Sonnen. !st of all Sonnen trains with Shields (he did for his fight Vs GSP) & 2nd: Shields only stated FACTS when he brought up Sonnen’s name, the FACT is Sonnen has no “jiu-jitsu”… he isnt known for his jiu-jitsu & had he any real skill in jiu-jitsu he would have used it in his fight Vs Anderson.

      Shields is stating that Wrestlers have succeeded Vs Anderson, but he believes that his wrestling ALONG with his world class jiu-jitsu could be the difference in almost beating Anderson (Sonnen with his wrestling) & beating Anderson (Shields with wrestling & jiu-jitsu).

      It’s called RELAX & read the article a couple of times to make sure you fully comprehend what Shields is saying, b/c apparently you ASSumed Shields was talking shit about Sonnen, when in fact he was stating the truth. Not sure HOW you could possibly think that Shields was disrespecting Sonnen.

  • BlackDog2009

    I like Shields but relying on wrestling and JJ alone is not gonna get him a fight with Anderson. Shields should work on some serious boxing and mui thai and then mix it up with his exceptional jj skills… otherwise, he’s gonna be left behind. The word for Shields is ‘evolve’.

  • aaronlol

    I really do not know why they did not line up Shields and Fitch in the first place.

  • Maybe they are trying to keep him from dropping two in a row. Fitch would beat Shields

  • Unador

    Shields needs to leave his camp and get a new one. His jujitsu has a deadly effective mix of wrestling in it that others fail to implement with similar results.
    His striking is bad. I don’t see how his wrestling and jujitsu would suffer if he would take 12 months and concentrate on developing his striking. So it feels a little more natural to him. Right now you can see how alien it feels to him to strike by observing how awkard he looks in his stand up.
    With some better stand up, there wouldn’t be much to stop this kid. He took a few serious shots to the side of the head from GSP that should have droped him, and Shields barely stumbled one time. So no glass jaw to worry about.
    He will have to go through Fitch imo before another shot at GSP.
    As for Silva at 185? He’s certainly tough enough to take some shots. Anderson doesn’ t have the greatest take down defense. And regardless of brazillian jujitsu from brazil, it’s his weakest link. And Shields’ strongest.
    Chael just exhibited wrestling and some fast pace ground and pound that is questionable in the amount of power those shots possesed. Considering Anderson endured 24 minutes of it.
    Shields would be more dangerous than Chael on the ground agains’t SIlva. So Shields may have the recipe for Anderson’s fall.
    And I see Shields beating Chael in any MMA setting.

    • MrAdidas

      The only thing I disagree with you, is that “Shields would beat Sonnen in any MMA setting”. I think Sonnen would be too strong for Shields on the ground, dont forget Sonnen is a power wrestler with sick cardio, but Sonnen has shown he can be submitted… even after spanking you for 23+ mins. I’d actually like to see that fight now, but I doubt it will happen seing that they train together now.

  • bajafox

    Unlike GSP, he straight out called for a fight with Anderson Silva. You gotta love his guts, GSP likes to dance around the possibility of ever facing Silva

    • MrAdidas

      Dude, the ONLY reason GSP hasnt asked for Silva is b/c GSP is a “small” WW, he may look big but hes not, he’s shredded he’s not a “big” WW – big difference! Shields could almost fight @ LHW if he really wanted to. GSP does NOT have the frame to fight @ MW, if he fights @ MW, he will be at a disadvantage b4 EVERY fight, from size to the reach advantage. Give GSP the same frame as Shields or give GSP an extra 2 inches in height, he would have no problem fighting @ MW.

      Y do u think Anderson wants to fight GSP so bad? B/C Silva knows he will have ALL the advantages in a fight Vs GSP, especially @ MW. Just like why do u think Silva wants NOTHING to do with LHW? B/C all of Silvas advantages (size, strength & reach advantage) that he has @ MW, wouldnt be the case @ LHW, epsecially Vs Jon Jones. Which IMO, is the MAIN reason Silva wants to retire @ MW & not fight people his own “:size” @ LHW. Silva loves having ALL the advantages while fighting, which is why he will not fight real word class fighters @ LHW, rather than those BUMS hes been fighting @ MW.

      Until Silva moves up to LHW & fights some real world class fighters & not these bums hes been fighting @ MW for the last 4-5 yrs, I will NEVER consider Silva the #1 P4P fighter, if you gave GSP the same caliber of fighters Silva has fought over his career, GSP would still be undefeated & he’d have half the decision vicotories as he has now.

      Excuse me if I dont think Patrick cote, Damian Maia, Thales Leites, Marquardt (decent), Belfort (who hadnt fought in over a yr & a half, comesback to fight the Champ?!?) Irvin, Forrest Griffin (2 big & slow to fight/compete with an accurate counter striker, considering Forrest loves to advance/run in swinging – hummm Forrest was fed to the sharks on this one). I’m not saying Forrest or Marquardt are shity fighters, b/c they arent, but they’re not top 5 in either of their respective weight classes. Compare that list of fighters to GSP’s… Fitch, Alves, BJ Penn, Koscheck, Shields etc.

      Until Silva gets out of that joke of a weight class they call the MW, it’s hard for me to consider him the #1 P4P fighter, since he fights in the WORST division by far & has no interest in fighting top notch world class fighters @ LHW. Just sayin’

      • Unador

        Very well stated Mr. Adidas.

  • devine22

    Very True GSP would never step up an fight Silva unless Dana tells him to! Shields vs Fitch would be great!, Shields would own him!!!

    • MrAdidas

      Just like Silva would never move up to fight Jones @ LHW! The difference is GSP is too small to fight @ MW & he’d ALWAYS be at a disavantage figthing people much bigger than him.

      Silva on the other hand still wont move up to LHW eventhough he would still be a “big” LHW, he wouldnt be the biggest like he is @ MW, but he wouldnt be the smallest by any means, nor would he be @ a disadvantage all the time if he were to fight @ LHW, but Silva NEEDS/WANTS to ALWAYS have the size, strength & reach advantages while fighting, so you can forget him moving up to LHW & you can ESPECIALLY FORGET him fighting Jon Jones.

      Funny how people say GSP should move up blah blah blah, yet noone cries about Silva who has NEVER lost @ MW & hasnt had much competition @ MW, besides… Henderson, Franklin & Sonnen and thats it, to move up to LHW! It would be different is the MW wasnt the worst division by FAR or if Silva had a couple of possible fighters that could make for an interesting match-up @ MW, but there arent & yet Silva still wont move up. I want to know/see what Silva can do with world class fighters @ LHW & quit fighting BUMS @ MW! If hes the best, then prove it & stop figthing in the shityest & weakest division EVER!

      • Unador

        I still think Luter had what it took to beat Silva. Was bad for him to come in over weight. But I’m still of the opinion that Anderson was striking Luter in the top of his head with those elbows. I don’t care that they may have been coming from the side or glancing across, the only part of Luter’s head exposed was the top of it.