UFC 171’s Jake Shields Wants a Finish of Hector Lombard En Route to a Title Shot

March 14, 2014
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Jake ShieldsNow that Georges St-Pierre is out of the picture, the UFC welterweight field is wide open.

One of the welterweights running through that field is longtime veteran Jake Shields, who prepares to fight Hector Lombard this Saturday at UFC 171.

Shields once fought St-Pierre for the 170-pound title, coming up short in a unanimous-decision loss at UFC 129. This weekend, however, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt can get back in the title hunt.

If he can finish the unfinished Lombard that is.

“Hopefully I’ll beat him in a dominating fashion. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish him. I’d love to be the first to do that,” Shields told The Great MMA Debate Podcast. “That’s why I’m training so hard, and I want to go out there and make it a great fight so I can get that title shot.”

With GSP figuring out his personal problems — whatever those might be — Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler are fighting for the title he vacated. Shields and Lombard will settle their differences on the same Dallas fight card. Not only are those four squaring off, but Carlos Condit and Tyron Woodley will lock horns as well.

It’s a welterweight melting pot, and any one of the latter four will likely face the Hendricks vs. Lawler winner in their next fight. Anything can happen, Shields said, but there’s a high probability that the No. 1 contender will come out of this weekend’s card.

“Most likely it’ll be the winner of me and Hector or Tyron and Condit,” he predicts. “You never know in the UFC because anything’s possible, but that makes the most sense.”

Most pundits are currently pointing at Condit vs. Woodley as the No. 1 contender’s bout, but a strong performance goes a long way for a fighter with title aspirations.

Earning the title shot, of course, won’t be an easy task for Shields. Getting through Lombard, a former Olympic judoka, will be like fighting a bully, which is how Shields described his opponent’s style. The opening moments of the fight give Lombard the opportunity to bully his foes, Shields said. The plan is to prevent that from happening, making the hulking Cuban fighter dole out the respect.

Shields doesn’t plan on getting chased around, falling into Lombard’s game, only to get knocked out.

“Especially the first few minutes, he likes to go out there and bully guys,” he said. “You can’t let him bully you away and run away scared. You have to go out there and make it a fight and make him respect you back. You see a lot of those fights where he starts chasing guys around, that’s where he gets the knockout because he just comes out so confident, hitting so hard, and guys don’t like it. So you have to go out there, shake things up, and change it up.

“Hector’s a guy that you have to be really technical and strategic with. He’s just such a power puncher, you don’t want to go out there and play his game. You don’t want to match power with Hector.”

And with that game plan, Shields anticipates coming out on top on Saturday. If all goes as well as he hopes, Shields could walk out of Dallas, forcing himself into the role of the new No. 1 contender. And if he earns the title a little further down the line, a rematch of UFC 129 doesn’t sound like a bad idea.

Not a bad idea at all.

“I like GSP and I would love to fight him again, but I think it’s really exciting right now,” he says. “It makes for a great fight if I can go out there and get that title and hopefully GSP would want to come back and fight again once things change up in a year.”

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  • drkdisciple

    If Condit winis he is more deserving of a title shot then Shields. The winner of shields vs lombard should take on Rory Macdonald.

    • Maddawgmar

      I agree, but Jake has a victory over Woodley, Condit and Lawler on his resume, yes Lawler and Condit were years ago, but they are victories nonetheless. I don’t think his last two wins were very impressive, but if he wins and is impressive in it, he has the most consecutive victories and against top opponents too. Can’t really dog him IMO

      • Baller31

        Nothing shields has done in the UFC has been impressive, starting with the bs decision he got over kampmann

        • Maddawgmar

          Okay. But he beat guys that are in title talks. You may not like it, but people didn’t like how Machida beat people.

    • uncle

      That’s right if Shields finished his last 2 fights
      he would have a case,but 2 long ugly a**
      decisions nope

  • Baller31

    I think there will be a finish, but I don’t think shields will like it

  • Joey

    Someone needs to let Jake know you can’t finish guys with eye pokes because that’s his most dangerous weapon on the feet.

  • Mihael Hajdin

    lol jake is smoking to much, hector will destroy him..

    • Maddawgmar

      Maybe. Just like Maia was gonna do to him, and Woodley. If Shields is able to get the fight to the ground, it could be a short night for Lombard

      • Joey

        Yeah, Shields is one of those guys that you hate to have your favorite fighter matched up against. He has a real penchant for making fun fighters look terrible.

        However Lombard has the style and build to really make Shield’s life difficult. He’s 5’9 and HUGE at 170. He has a judo background, so you know he has a really solid base. Not mention he he has the power and striking to knock Jake out at anytime. I see Shields trying to clinch with him and being overpowered. As long as Hector doesn’t gas him self in the first round (which is a real possibility), I don’t see a lot of paths to victory for Shields.

        • Maddawgmar

          I can see that. But he has the ability to stifle great grapplers. Dan Henderson, Demian Maia just to name a few. Not saying he won’t get beat, but this is a closer matchup than people thing IMO.

      • Mihael Hajdin

        yeah but hector is imo much better fighter than woodley, of course anything can happen in a fight but this is hectors fight to win,,

    • MMAFAN

      Woodly is a much better and well rounded version of Lombard. And remind me, how’d that work out for Woodly?

      • uncle

        Damn you make it sound like Lombard
        doesn’t stand a chance,he has more KO’s
        then Woodley,so he can still land a punch
        and change the whole fight

      • RubeKegal

        I kind of agree with you as far as Woodley is a more well rounded athlete, but I think there’s no question Lombard poses a much greater threat on the feet. Tough to call this one. If Shields can continually get this to the ground, I see a late sub in the 3rd round for him. Otherwise Hector by round 1 via punches to the face.

  • dave

    if he pulls another split decision, and then gets a title shot, it might be some kind of a UFC record… 3 splits for a title shot!

  • uncle

    The winner of this fight ,should fight Matt Brown next

  • dgs

    “Hector’s a guy that you have to be really technical and strategic with.
    He’s just such a power puncher, you don’t want to go out there and play
    his game. You don’t want to match power with Hector.”

    Translation: “Since I know my stand up sucks balls, the moment the bell rings I will be looking for the take down and the submission, as I know that will be the only chance in hell I have of winning this fight. Come to think of it, I’ll just be doing what I do in all of my fights!”

    Please Hector, violently KO this one-dimensional, boring fighter, and maybe I won’t have to watch him fight again, ever…