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Jake Shields Wasting No Time at Middleweight, Wants to Jump into Title Mix Right Away

Posted on by Damon Martin

Jake Shields StrikeforceThe last time Jake Shields hit the scales and weighed 185 pounds, he was walking into a fight hardly anyone believed he could win.

Shields was facing former Pride champion Dan Henderson, who was making his Strikeforce debut at the time. Despite the Cesar Gracie fighter having picked up wins over both Robbie Lawler and Jason “Mayhem” Miller, few believed he could actually hang with one of the top middleweights in the world.

He was happy to prove them all wrong because outside of a rough first round, Shields dominated Henderson for the last 20 minutes and picked up arguably the biggest win of his career.

Just after that fight, Shields signed a new multi-fight deal with the UFC, and moved back down to welterweight, where he had most of his significant fights in MMA. While Shields lives with no regret, there is a part of him that wishes he had stayed at middleweight after getting quite comfortable in the weight class.

The opportunities presented at 170 pounds in the UFC, however, were just too good to pass up on at the time.

“Actually, when I first signed with the UFC, I actually said I wanted to fight a fight or two at 185 first, but 170 was really wide open at that time. There was no one for GSP (Georges St-Pierre) and the UFC didn’t make me drop, but they encouraged it,” Shields revealed to MMAWeekly Radio.

“GSP’s a guy I wanted to fight for years, and with it sounding like a fast track to GSP, it was something I couldn’t turn down.”

Shields’ return to 170 pounds was met with mixed results. He went 2-2 over his four fights thus far in the UFC’s welterweight division including a loss to St-Pierre at UFC 129.

Following his last fight, a victory over Yoshihiro Akiyama in February, Shields started to open up to the idea of moving back up to middleweight again. The weight cut to get back down to 170 pounds was draining, and he started to notice the ill effects in his fights, something he hadn’t dealt with when he was a middleweight.

“Sometimes in my other camps at 170, I’d feel great and then the last week or two I’d start feeling sucked up and weak. Not having that to worry about is going to be nice, too,” said Shields.

“It’s not fun taking the weight off and putting it back on.”

At UFC 150, Shields will face former Ultimate Fighter finalist Ed Herman, who comes into the fight on a three-fight win streak. When he decided to move back up to 185 pounds, Shields didn’t want a warm-up fight, or something to ease him back into the division.

Just like his last trip to middleweight, Shields wanted to swim with the sharks and when Herman was offered as an opponent, he jumped at the opportunity.

“I want to get right in that title mix. 185 is wide open and everybody’s talking about who’s next. I want to go out there and hopefully put on a great performance and get to throw my name in the mix,” said Shields.

While his last four fights have all been at 170 pounds, it’s hard to ignore Shields’ perfect 3-0 record at middleweight with all three wins coming over established veterans in the division. He’s not expecting any special treatment because he’s moving back up in weight, but Shields believes he does have some credentials to his name that others in the division do not.

“You never know what counts for what, but it’s got to count for something,” Shields stated. “I’m the last guy to beat Dan Henderson and he’s fighting for the 205-pound belt, so that’s got to give me some credit at 185 and if I can go out there and win, and win in a dominant fashion, it will get people talking about me and other contenders at 185.”

In Shields’ mind there is no clear cut No. 1 contender at middleweight right now with everyone clamoring to get the next shot at champion Anderson Silva. His hope is to beat Ed Herman at UFC 150 this weekend, and then face any of the top contenders in the division and make his mark as a top 185 pounder.

“It’s up for grabs and that’s why it’s hard to say who deserves a title shot. I don’t even know. (Chris) Weidman looked amazing versus Mark Munoz, and then you have (Michael) Bisping’s got to be close, and even though Chael Sonnen lost, considering what he did the last time, a couple more wins he could be right back in there. There’s lots of guys in the mix,” said Shields.

“I wouldn’t be next in line, but if I beat him, there’s not one particular person I want to fight, but I want one of the big contenders. A Bisping, Weidman, (Tim) Boetsch, one of the guys that’s close to the title.”


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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002352591498 keldricshannon

    I would love to see a Shields vs. Weidman fight headline a Fox or FX card. The way that Weidman completely dominated Munoz was almost exactly how Shields dominated Dan Henderson after taking that big punch in the first round. People forget that Jake ended GSP’s three year round winning streak last year being at half the strength and power he had been at middleweight. He easily would have taken down and tapped out GSP if he hadn’t lost much of his power from the weight cut.

    • Lesnardo

      Not really…

      WTF are you talking about. Jake almost got killed by Hendo in the first. In the second and third Jake just took a tired hendo down and threw rabbit punches.

      U r dumb.

      • RonnieV

        Dumb? You must be one of the same people that said BJ Penn owned Diaz in the first round. It’s a 3-5 round fight for a reason. Shields, made it out of teh first round, and completely dominated Hendo for the rest of the fight. If I use your logic, Shields owned GSP for one round.

        • Lesnardo

          Dude, stop using MMA Math. Just because Shields was able to beat Hendo, doesn’t mean that he can beat other top 185lbers. It is rare to find a top 195lber with Hendo’s punching power and lack of cardio due to age.

          Other 185lbers might not punch as hard as Hendo but have enough cardio to give Jake Shields a wooping.

          • felix

            Dude, shut the fuck up. You don’t know what you are talking about. Jake Shields looking like a corpse against GSP due to the weight loss managed to stand and exchange with him for 5 rounds. GSP is one of the fighters with the best cardio, so with your argument you are just making a fool of yourself.

          • phrankthetank

            What are you talking about? That was shields second trip back to welterweight, he complained about a bad weight cut against kampmann, not GSP. If he had two bad cuts in a row its his own d@mn fault.

          • MrAdidas

            FELIX: Maybe you should know what ur talking about before you post a comment, Shields had a “great” weight vut vs. GSP, when he fought Kampmann, he looked like shit & he even lost that fight to Kampmann. What round did Shields own GSP again?!? The 4th round when GSP almost KO’d Shield with a head kick (which is funny, how did Shields even win that round, is beyond me). Or was it the round when Shields took GSP down, or almost took him down … wait a second Shields wasnt even close. The only thing Shields did was land a few more punches, b/c he was fighting a guy with 1 eye & he still couldnt do shit. Yeah Shields “owned” GSP … BAHAHAHAH idiot!

        • RubeKegal

          BJ did own Diaz in round 1. Diaz outclassed BJ rest of fight.

          Hendo is a Greco Wrestler…alot of people are having trouble understanding what that means…in Greco, you start from the clinch…in freestyle wrestling, you don’t and Hendo isn’t a good freestyle wrestler as Shields exposed.

          Keldric, Jake Shields does not possess the skills to take down GSP, GSP is far superior in every category.

          As far as Shields facing Weidman…you kidding? Weidman should get a title shot and Shields hasn’t done well in the UFC…it would be like giving Hector Lombard a #1 contenders match after coming off a loss to Boetsch.

    • DrkDisciple

      Q:What has shields done to deserve a fight against weidman? A:nothing!

      Give me a break Shields had a hard time beating Akiyama lost against ellenberger and GSP its pretty obvious his best years are behind him. I bet you it will take everything for him to win a very close fight against Short Fuse Herman!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002303381295 Hunter S

        I’d love to see Weidman kick the bejesus out of Shields.

        I thought Shields looked awful so far in his UFC fights, I’ve never been a fan, always found him rather boring I mean the dude does the least damage of any fighter in the big leagues….

        Let’s see him get smashed by Weidman and sent back to SF.

        • MaritalArtist

          What do you mean no damage? He chokes people unconscious. If it weren’t for the ref, jake would be killing most people he fights.

          • RubeKegal

            oh comeon now. 2-2 in UFC and hasn’t finished anyone in the big leagues which the UFC is the big leagues as Hunter said. His last finish he guillotined Robbie Lawler in 2009.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002352591498 keldricshannon

        Winning 16 out of his last 18 fights is what he’s done. To think he’s bad when he’s beaten Carlos Condit, Martin Kampmann, Yushin Okami, Dan Henderson, Paul Daley and then chokes out Jon Fitch, Diego Sanchez and many others in submission grappling tournaments around the world is stupid. The only reason he hasn’t looked is best is because the middleweight division is his more natural division.

        • phrankthetank

          He’s had 3 fights at middleweight, the rest of his career is at welterweight. Whats his natural weight class again? He faltered under the big lights of the UFC, that’s all. No excuses for overhyped fighters.

          • MaritalArtist

            When was the last time a fighter took a round or two from GSP?

        • KBEsq

          I don’t think he said Shields was bad. Most people are just disagreeing with a match between Shields and Weidman and the comparison between Weidman/Munoz and Henderson/Shields.

          I have to agree. Weidman completely dominated Munoz in the wrestling department while he was fresh, and then knocked him out. Shields, by contrast, almost got knocked out, and then fought one of the most boring fights of all time.

          Even Shields’ wins in the UFC are not impressive. Both were controversial, in fact. I hope the jump to MW revitalizes his career, but he needs to start at the bottom at this point.

        • RubeKegal

          keldric are you really bringing information about grappling tournaments in this discussion? Maybe we should promote JT Torres directly to a title shot vs. Jose Aldo then according to your logic.

    • dathump

      I wouldn’t say he had any more strength or power at middleweight, he has good wrestling, and good submissions against lesser opponents.but has never been a power fighter. GSP fights a safe fight, and lost 2 rounds because he wasn’t aggressive enough, and only lost those 2 rounds split, so they could have gone either way. If he gets past Herman, I won’t be shocked, but i also won’t be surprised if Herman finishes him either.

      • phrankthetank

        GSP couldn’t see out of one eye for half of that fight. He went into that trying to knock shields out, trying to emulate the ‘h bomb’ Hendo hit him with. Try closing one eye then trying to spar with someone…. Pretty damn difficult

        • MrAdidas

          I msut say Phrank, we tend to agree more and more. Like you said, when u are using one eye in a fight, you have no depth perception, meaning (for those who dont know what that means) when GSP was looking at Shields, he couldnt tell if Shields was close or far away, which is why GSP missed alot of his strikes in the 4th & 5th rounds, b/c he couldnt gave where Shields actually was in the ?Octagon, even while he was standing in front of him. Like Phrank said DATHUMP … try sparing with a friend of yours and close your eye & keep closed, and see how long it takes for ur buddy to Knock you OUT. Shields still couldnt do much when his oponent had one eye, now imagine if GSP had 2 good eyes for the full fight … yikes! Am I the only one who seen GSP embaress Shields in the first 2 rounds & the 4th with the nice head kick?!? Shields went flying across the Octagon from 1 jab, now thats power & I think Condit is going to taste the ever improving power & stand up GSP has, thanks to Freddy Roach.

          • dathump

            Mradidas, i agree with you, should have said GSP doesn’t fight with reckless abandonment, which opened the door for shields to squeek (and barly at that)a round out on a couple of judges cards by looking busier while GSP picked his shots. I am with you that shields never really had GSP in any sort of trouble. GSP is too smart of a fighter. It was he wight cut excuse for shields before, I was just reading that Shields is complaing that he didn’t go to denver earlier enough to adapt to the altitude, so i guess the thin air excuse when he loses to herman is at the ready.

    • pooby

      I want some of what keldric is smoking. Shields NEVER did ANYTHING to ANYBODY that resembled what Weidman did to Munoz.

      Beating Herman does not put him in the “mix”.

    • phrankthetank

      Huh????

    • MrAdidas

      BAHAHAHHAHAHAH WTF are you talking about? Shields would have taken GSP down & tapped him out … What are you smoking, b/c whatever it is you can make alot of money off of it. Shields barely won 1 round let alone 2 & GSP had 1 good eye, had GSP not gotten poked, he would have OWNED Shields like he did the 1st three rounds, when he had full sight. Shields take GSP down?!? LOL okay, whatever you say. Yet Sherk, Hughes, Koscheck, Trigg, Alves, Fitch & BJ Penn couldnt, but Shields would have?!?!? WOW!

  • clemwilson

    Jake Shields is too boring and dull to get much fan appreciation. Plus he is not that good. Send Shields back to strikeforce just too boring and dull.

    • MaritalArtist

      I don’t think he’s boring. But then again, I enjoy submissions just as much as a KO. Also, submissions usually do less damage so fighters can fight more often. Nothing against a good ol fashioned knockout though!

  • Lesnardo

    Jake will get destroyed at 185.

  • MMAGod

    “Jake Shields Wasting No Time at Middleweight, Wants to Jump into Title Mix Right Away”…Who the hell wouldn’t want to jump into the title mix right away? Shields, while in the UFC, hasn’t proven that he deserves another title shot in the UFC. Send him back to SF and let him finish out his career there.

  • smill0313

    Boy, he is gonna ride that Hendo win for all its worth. He acts like he has been on streak since then when he has been mediocre at best. Hendo on the other hand, has gone undefeated since then.

    • Lesnardo

      Honestly, it was a bad match up for Hendo. If they fight again, I would bet on Hendo.

      It’s Hendo’s lack of cardio that killed him in rounds 2 and 3. In round 1 he almost destroyed Shields, who was saved by the bell.

      Hendo should stick to out striking Shields each round and avoiding takedowns instead of trying to KO Shields.

  • phrankthetank

    In my opinion shields should be 0-4 in the UFC. He got dropped more than once by kampmann knees but disguised it as takedown attempts and got away with a bad decision, he couldn’t beat a half blind GSP, he got destroyed by ellenberger, and spent 3 rds hugging akiyama and trying to take him down, if judges awarded takedown defense like they should, akiyama should have won that. As far as middleweight goes, Henderson had a bad weight cut, he had no energy after the 1st rd. Mayhem is sh!t, and Robbie has no submission defense. The hype behind jake shields really needs to stop. I hope Herman knocks him right out of his UFC contract.

    • RonnieV

      In a previous post you wrote “No excuses for overhyped fighters.” Read your post again, all you did was make excuses for why Shields opponents lost. Quite frankly, I think GSP is a p#ssy, and fought poorly against Shields, and used the eye poke as an excuse for his poor & boring performance. IMO Shields was the better fighter the later rounds of that fight. He completely dominated Hendo after the first round, he won a very close fight with Kampmann. He won a decisive Unanimous decision against Akiyama, it was a boring fight, but how can you say Akiyama won? He got caught by Ellenberger, outside of that, Shields has one of the most respectable records/resume in MMA.

      • macgrubber

        Shields also has the worst standup i have ever seen. He also has one of the goofiest faces. Hope the guy never fights again.

        • Lesnardo

          His stand up is awkward and rigid.

        • MaritalArtist

          I love his goofy face. I hope he goes on a 15-fight submission win streak, with a couple ko’s mixed in I silence the doubters.

      • phrankthetank

        You’re right, GSP pouring water on his eye and looking upset was just a ploy to say his eye was poked after the fight, he was out struck by kampmann, dropped by kampmann, and after 15 minutes kampmann had gone for 3 submissions, shields did nothing. Against akiyama he ran in with weak punches to get the clinch and then went for the takedown, over and over, and failed. Shields pulled off 2 takedowns in 14 attempts, akiyama got 2 out of 4. If you score big points for landing a takedown, then you should get points for defending a takedown. Jake shields is one of the most overhyped fighters in the game. He has slick bjj but nothing else, and he hasn’t submitted anyone in over 3 years.

        • RonnieV

          Phranky,I wish MMA judging was based on your criteria, because if weak punches didn’t count, and takedowns score big points. Then my boy Diaz whooped Condit..just sayin’ I saw the Shields-Akiyama fight, and I didn’t think it was even close, boring, but Shields controlled that fight. The judges felt the same way as me. I also (of course) thought Shields did enough to win the Kampmann fight (and he did). GSP looked terrible against Shields, and was scared to go to the ground. The eye poke excuses after the fight were ridiculous, watch the slow-mo, GSP’s eye were closed when Shields apparently poked him. If he was blind why did he continue fighting, he still would have won? Shields doesn’t have great stand-up, but he is brilliant on the ground. Two losses in seven years (and 15 wins), and the Kid gets no respect.

          • MrAdidas

            Again you are proven you really are an idiot, alot of pokes in the eyes occur even when the fighter has his eyes closed, let me poke you in the eye as hard as Shields did to GSP and let me know if it hurts & see if I can do damage, you ass clown. FYI: GSP continued fighting b/c hes NOT a pussy, like some loser moron claimed, oh yeah that was you. Also, GSP got poked in the 3rd round if I’m not mistaken, he was still able to see but as the fight went on, his sight was getting worst & worst by the second. In case you are a NOOB and by your comments I sure hope you are, GSP cant go to the ref in the 4th & say hey ref I cant see from an eye poke that occured in the 3rd round, you moron.

          • phrankthetank

            If GSP looked terrible against shields, but won the fight, it doesn’t say much for shields does it? As far as Diaz vs condit was landing the better shots, Diaz is notorious for throwing weak punches… He just throws them 200 at a time lol. And yes, you agree with the judges because one of your favorite fighters got the nod, but how often do we all complain about bad judging? Yes, I can see how the judges gave shields the akiyama fight. Shields was the aggressor, but all he did was clinch and go for takedowns, akiyama was forced to clinch and defend takedowns, and he stopped 12 out of 14 attempts. The kampmann fight I wholeheartedly disagree with the judges, I think the hype behind shields played a little too much into the judges decision.

      • phrankthetank

        And no, I’m not making excuses for why his opponents lost, I’m explaining why they should have won. Big difference.

      • MrAdidas

        WTF?!? GSP is a “pussy”? BAHAHA okay tough guy, why dont you man up & show us all how tough you are, I guess we’ll be seing you in the Octagon soon enough, right? Calling the best overall fighter in the world a pussy, while he hides behind his computer screen – good one.

        An excuse? Yeah thats why his eye was loaded with blood, which was the reason they 1st thought GSP’s career was over, they thought his retina was detached, but he was faking it, just like GSP faked his knee surgery & didnt want to fight Diaz, wait a second wasnt Diaz the no show?!? Thats right!

        RONNIE: “IMO Shields was the better fighter the later rounds of that fight” -NO shit genius, GSP was fighting with one good eye. WOW ur some frigging stupid. GSP just so happened to owned Shields for 3 rounds b4 the eye poke, which you clearly see Shields tried it on purpose, b/c he was going nowhere quick. Then Shields still doesnt do much vs. a guy with 1 good eye, yet GSP still landed the better strikes in the 4th & 5th, it was the head kick. What did Shields do in the 4th & 5th with 2 good eyes?!? Not much, yeah Shields is so incredible he couldnt take GSP downm let alone beat a blinded 1 eyed GSP for 10 mins.

  • http://www.combatsciencemma.com CombatScienceMMA

    I love Jake. Great fighter and sportsman but going 2-2 at WW in the UFC then going up and facing Ed Herman doesn’t throw you in the mix at all. Even though he’s accomplished a lot in his MMA career he still has a lot to do in the UFC. Guys like Thiago Alves and Jon Fitch went on 7 fight winning streaks against top 10 and top 5 guys. Now everyone wants to jump in the title mix after beating one or two guys. And did somebody really call GSP a pussy? Are you serious? The only person to ever kick his ass was Matt Serra in their first fight. If you don’t like the guys style that’s one thing but it’s up to his opponents to bring it to him and beat him anyway they can. Man these fans have no respect. But its the respect from other pro fighters that matters.

    • phrankthetank

      ronnieV is a hardcore Stockton fanboy, anyone who beats his favourite fighters is a pussy. Don’t look too far into it.

      • RonnieV

        Did I ever call Condit a p#ssy? Or Ellenberger? You are right, GSP is not a p#ssy, but he acted like a big vagina after the Shields fight. That was his last fight (16 months ago),IMO he’s done.

        CESAR GRACIE JUJITSU RULES!!! lol

        • phrankthetank

          You’re just still bitter that every Cesar Gracie fighter on that card got beat

    • dathump

      I agree, the people who don’t like GSP are the ones who have only watched MMA for a couple of years or forgetting that he is 24 and 2 with 13 wins by stoppage. Herman is a good style match for Shields, not a huge striking threat, but if Herman wins, its more proof that these guys coming from elite xc or bellator or other mma promotions (pride fighters exempt)on a big win streak, even if they stopped by strikeforce are not in the same league as UFC fighters.

      • B-rok

        I have followed mma for a long time and I can’t stand GSP! He became popular because he was exciting and finished fights. Now he is one of the most boring fighters in mma. He is so skilled but is afraid to fight. The condit-gsp fight has the potential to be one of the most boring fights ever. I’m all for strategy and some fights like machida-shogun one end up being entertaining but jacksons strategy of not losing is boring. Plus gsp had made a living out of beating smaller fighters ie sherk, penn, sera, and ivan menjivar.

    • MrAdidas

      I completely agree, except for the Matt Serra was the “only guy to kick his ass” – Sure Matt won, no doubt but a punch behind the ear would rock anyone (therefore not really making it an ass kicking), which is why strikes behind the head are illegal, behind the ear is very close to the back of head & what happened to GSP would happen to any fighter, at least GSP proved in their rematch that it was a “lucky” punch. Same thing happened to Couture vs. Lesnar, punch behind the ear = ZZzzZZ. I also believe Rua hit Lyoto behind the ear when he KO’d him, in their rematch.

    • MrAdidas

      I completely agree, except for the Matt Serra was the “only guy to kick his ass” – Sure Matt won, no doubt but a punch behind the ear would rock anyone (therefore not really making it an ass kicking), which is why strikes behind the head are illegal, behind the ear is very close to the back of head & what happened to GSP would happen to any fighter, at least GSP proved in their rematch that it was a “lucky” punch. Same thing happened to Couture vs. Lesnar, punch behind the ear = ZZzzZZ. I also believe Rua hit Lyoto behind the ear when he KO’d him, in their rematch.

      It’s funny how people hate on GSP b/c of how good he is, whats even more funny is Ronnie saying GSP is a “pussy”, comming from a guy living with his mom & hiding behind a computer screen in her basement, talking shit about MMA fighters. Now thats funny!!!

      • RonnieV

        Actually I’m sitting in my grandmothers attic with a wrestling singlet on, eating Twinkies, and waiting for WWE to start. I actually retracted the p#ssy comment, but since my opinion got your panties wet, I’m unretracting the comment. GSP was good, but he hasn’t fought in 16 months, and the last time he did fight, he looked like crap. Adidas you are more than welcome to come poke me in the eye, I’ll be hiding in my Mom’s basement, errrr I mean my Grandma’s attic.

  • Booker T

    Shields is a vegetarian like Mir. What’s that tell people? WEAK MINDED!!!

    • pooby

      “Dumbest Thing Posted On Mmaweekly All Week” Award for you sir.

      • Booker T

        Mark 7:19 Jesus made all foods clean. Anybody that thinks meat is bad is weak minded. Maybe I can get second dumbest thing. Pooby must be vegetarian. lol

    • macgrubber

      vegetarian LOL what a bunch of queers.

  • jonasjunior

    What a fight would be Shields vs Maia.

    • pooby

      That would be about as awesome as Shields vs. Fitch.

    • phrankthetank

      Too bad they swapped divisions.

      • dathump

        don’t worry, Shields will drop down again as soon as he gets his ass handed to him a couple of times at 185. Should give him Sonnen next at 185, as much as i dislike him, there are 2 guys with little to no power behind their punches, but neither will want to go to the ground with the other,(as long as Sonnen remebers he has bad submission defence) might actually be a slug fest with little to no chance of a knock out.

        • MaritalArtist

          So what if shields beats sonnen. Then what?

          • dathump

            Then let him continue his climb up the title fight ladder. give him a top contending striker, and if he can get past that, then give him his shot. but thats alot of what if’s

  • http://www.facebook.com/fidel.mota fidelmota

    i would love to see mayhem miller kick shields ass

    • RonnieV

      Miller had his chance, and lost

    • RubeKegal

      Huge Mayhem fan here, but his takedown defense is painful to watch…Shields would dryhump Mayhem for another 3 rounds to victory.

  • Booker T

    Shields……Weak minded vegetarian!

  • BizzleZX10R

    Agreed,Shields is the most overrated fighter ever. All he does is spam single leg takedowns until he “EVENTUALLY” scores it. You can even see him fight on Bully Beatdown and he goes for the same ineffective single leg the whole fight.