UFC Releases Jake Shields, Search Underway for a New Promotion

April 7, 2014
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Georges St. Pierre and Jake Shields at UFC 129

After three and a half years and eight fights, The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Monday released welterweight fighter Jake Shields.

News of Shields’ release was first reported by MMAFighting.com.

“Jake Shields has been released by the UFC. Jake appreciates the opportunities provided by the UFC and thanks Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta. Jake is an elite athlete who is one of the best welterweight fighters in the world with a long history of winning at a championship level,” read a statement by Shields’ manager, Lex McMahon.

“Jake and our team are already exploring options. I’m confident that Jake will have a new promotion to call home very soon. Jake thanks his fans for their support and looks forward to competing for them again soon.”

Having left Strikeforce as that promotion’s outgoing middleweight champion, Shields entered the Octagon in late 2010, immediately making a splash. He defeated Martin Kampmann to quickly earn a shot at then-UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, fighting in front of more than 55,000 fans at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

He failed to win the title and then lost his next bout to Jake Ellenberger.

Shields bounced back by winning three of his next four bouts – one of those bouts was originally a decision victory, but was changed to a no contest when he tested positive for an unidentified banned substance.

In his last before being released, Shields dropped a unanimous decision to Hector Lombard at UFC 171 in Dallas.

Having spent the past 15 years as a professional fighter and becoming a champion in Shooto, Rumble on the Rock, EliteXC, and Strikeforce.

Shields is currently the No. 9 ranked welterweight in the MMAWeekly.com World MMA Rankings, and No. 11 on the UFC welterweight list.

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  • King_DG

    wow this is good news!! send him to WSOF so that him and Fitch can “Fitch” each other

    • dj

      I’d actually like to see that fight.

    • shakejunt

      or onefc for askren

  • mma fan

    How can the UFC keep saying they have “the best in the world” it simply is not true, the UFC is turning WWE! Shields may not be the most exciting fighter, but he is a legit top 20 in the world. Very elite athlete/fighter. I would have no problem if the UFC changed its motto to “The most exciting fighters in the world” but to release one of the best, and not sign Askren because their fight style is not exciting is a pure scam. UFC/WWE merger is going to happen! it is not about wins or losses anymore but only money and entertainment value. Such a shame!

    • asd

      A legit 20?? Shields is top-5. He recently beat Tyron Woodley who’s fighting for the next title shot, come on.

      • mma fan

        my point exactly. Released based on fight style alone. Only said top 20 cuz nobody can dispute that. Top 5 maybe. Personally I believe he is barely within top 10. Regardless very respectable elite fighter.

    • TheCerealKiller

      He is barely top ten, boring as $hit and getting old. He is nothing to the big picture or the future of the sport. Good luck finding someone to pay you more than a dollar.

  • BobLemons

    An expensive fighter who doesn’t interest fans being dropped after one loss to a top contender.

    Any real MMA fan should want to see the best fight, whether they’re exciting or not..

    • shakejunt

      almost all of this ufc wins were robbery decisions. we do want to see the best, we just don’t want to hear how good you are and how much you’re improving if you come out with the same gameplan every time.

  • Captain Combo

    After Fitch and Okami I can’t say I’m surprised.

    • shakejunt

      fingers crossed guida next. hopefully it’ll light a fire under ben henderson to be aggressive again.

  • shakejunt

    people either complain the ufc is a monopoly or they complain that they let their more boring top guys go. which one is it?

    • TheCerealKiller

      It’s sports entertainment. Shields does not entertain. I was a huge Fitch fan and even I understand that side of the business

  • Frappe

    He is a really nice guy to meet in person. Still a top ten fighter, but brought over on a champions contract. No brainer for UFC, gotta issue a pink slip. Still more then a few good match ups outside of the UFC for him. Could be a really boring fight, but love to see shields vs. Daley. Daley would blow a head gasket, some reason that sounds interesting to me.

    • laleggenda27

      You do realize that they already fought, right. Not that I would be against a rematch, but Shields already subbed Daley.

      • Frappe

        Nope, I’m sure your right. Can’t think of another match I’d like to see with shields. Tree stump.

        • laleggenda27

          I think Palharis, Fitch, and Askren would all be interesting matches. Maybe not the most exciting, but I’d love to see how the grappling plays out.

  • mma fan

    Shields vs. Askren who wins?

    • Captain Combo

      Shields. He has Jits. Marcelo Garcia made Askren look like a child when they rolled.

    • Wolf Ticket

      Not the fans.

  • mmalive

    Shields is OVER RATED for sure. He came over from Strikeforce as champion. So his salary in UFC is more the basis for his dismissal. Meaning no contract renewal. While there is NO DISPUTE he is one of the elite fighters in the world. Shields is a high paid gatekeeper. I am not a fan of Shields not to say that he would do well in other organizations. WSOF, Bellator, OneFC. He could very be champ at any of those organizations.

  • taylor2008

    I dont get this. I like Jake as a fighter but not a huge fan…..but how do they let a guy like him go? He is top 10 in the welterweight division. They dump him and didnt give Askren a chance? I dont get it. Shields out Jitzed Damian a few months back. That is NOT an easy thing to do! I dont get why they let him go? Not the flashiest fighter but not bad enough to get cut.

    • mmalive

      The bottom line is business sense. There is NO DISPUTE that Shields is an elite fighter. UFC just wants flashy fighters, finishers, and more bang for the buck. A lot of great fighters either get passed up or let go. Shields is a gatekeeper and highly paid 1 too. Shields will do well in Bellator, WSOF, OneFC. He will add depth with a big name to any welterweight division.

  • uncle

    Jake been fighting for years and he trains with the diaz
    bros and his striking still sucks, Ronda even strikes
    better then him Jake, should of been more well rounded
    if wants to be a champion the UFC he has wicked
    ground game but that’s not enough

  • Ron Wheeler

    UFC Home of reality TV stars swingin’ for the fences. Yawn.

  • Shartnado2, the Sloppy One

    Good riddance.

    • dgs

      Absolutely agree. He obviously hasn’t, and probably won’t ever learn to be comfortable on his feet, and there is no room in the UFC for one-dimensional fighters.

      Shields needs to do one of three things now:

      1. Move on to an org with mediocre fighters, where Shields can be a big fish in a little pond (rather than a medium sized fish in the huge UFC pond).

      2. Compete in non-striking Brazilian Ju-Jitsu competitions only, such as Abu Dhabi.

      3. Become a full-time Brazilian Ju-Jitsu instructor.

  • DamianCross

    I predicted the Shields/GSP fight. I don’t mean I predicted GSP would win, I mean I predicted every single move they were going to do and the result.

    • byron

      what?!? you didnt predict gsp to win, but you predicted the result…….