Jake Shields Doesn’t Think Ryan Ford is Equal Caliber, Takes Aim at WSOF Belt

October 11, 2014

Following four years with the UFC, former Strikeforce champion Jake Shields was set to make his World Series of Fighting debut this past May when injury forced him off the card.

For a fighter as durable as Shields is, the injury was a disappointment, but being a veteran of the sport, he knows it comes with the territory and has quickly moved on.

“It always sucks to pull out with an injury, but it’s just part of the fight game,” Shields told MMAWeekly.com. “I’ve been actually very fortunate in my fight career and have only had to pull out twice over 15 years.

“I can’t let it get to me, especially when it only put me out a couple of weeks, so I can’t be too upset.”

It also helps that Shields will be getting something of a fresh start in the WSOF when he does make his promotional debut on Oct. 11.

“I was a little burnt out from the UFC and my last couple fights with them,” he said. “I’m still motivated and I’m enjoying the sport again, so I’m excited to be fighting for a new show.”

One thing Shields will be carrying over to his new promotion from recent times is the decision to fight at welterweight.

“I think welterweight is my best weight,” said Shields. “I’m kind of stuck in the middle where I have to cut weight to get down to 170, but at 185 the guys are so big and so strong.

“I know I can fight there and am undefeated at 185, but you can feel the difference in strength when I fight those guys.”

When Shields (29-7-1, 1NC) makes his promotion debut at WSOF 14 in Edmonton, he’ll be facing local standout Ryan Ford, who currently holds the promotion’s Canadian 170-pound championship.

“He’s really explosive, really strong, great stand-up, and has good jiu-jitsu and wrestling, but I don’t think he’s at my caliber,” said Shields of Ford. “I think as long as I go in there and stay composed, I can pick him apart and hopefully finish him.

“For some reason, I always end up in their hometown, but I’m used to it. I started out early on going to Japan to fight Japanese fighters, and then fought several Canadians in Canada and Brazilians in Brazil, so for me it’s just another day.”

Fifteen years into his career, Shields is still enthusiastic about fighting and about making an impact in his new promotion.

“I always figured I’d be done a long time ago, but I still enjoy it and as long as I enjoy it, I’ll keep doing it,” said Shields. “There are times over the years where I felt burnt out, but after a break I started doing it again and I keep doing it.

“Hopefully I’ll win in dominant fashion and it will keep my name high and line me up for a title shot for WSOF.”

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