Jake Shields returning to 185 pounds after stint at welterweight

Typically when you hear about a fighter changing weight-classes it has to do with an individual looking to move down compete at a more natural mark or experience some sort of size advantage. However, in the case of accomplished grappler Jake Shields, it appears he’ll be heading back to middleweight after dipping down to 170 pounds where he went 2-2 inside the Octagon.

Shields’ future status was confirmed on this week’s episode of UFC Tonight. Though the 33-year old did not comment on the matter, the reason for the change was said to relate to the strain of slimming down to hit the welterweight limit. The Graciefighter stand-out is expected to put his new physique to the test in late summer or early fall, giving him plenty of time to pack on any necessary muscle and get his body re-acclimated to fighting as a 185-pounder.

Holding an overall record of 27-6, Shields has racked up wins against a number of widely-respected middleweights such as Yushin Okami, Robbie Lawler, Jason “Mayhem” Miller, and Dan Henderson. The latter three victories all came under the Strikeforce banner where he held the divisional title, abandoning the belt in order to sign with the UFC.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

8 COMMENTS
  • Rece Rock says:

    Probably for the better with him being more of a ground fighter….

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  • MCM says:

    He came into the UFC as a #2 or #3 ranked WW and lost to Kampmann ( in a lot of people eyes anyway), lost to GSP, lost to Ellenberger, and would have lost to Akyama if Sexy had shown up to fight. Considering the success he’s had against current UFC MW’s, I think it’s smart to move on to a less competitive weight class. I’m not saying he’s running, but why risk losing rankings and paydays at one weight class when you can rise in the rankings and, therefore, get better paydays at a different weight class.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    I don’t think the weight cut was doing Jake any favours either.

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  • AlphaOmega says:

    The Caesar Gracie group is very firm on not fighting each other, so why would he move up to MW where Nick is still in talks about title shots, unless Nick isn’t coming back for awhile.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    Nick fights at welterweight in UFC, always has IIRC.

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  • AlphaOmega says:

    Oh ya…whyd i think other wise? Hm.. ignore that comment then.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    To be fair, Nick has fought at some weird weight limits. He basically got his own division in EliteXC.

    Signed,
    The guy who thought Machida fought in PRIDE

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  • Screenplaya says:

    Smart move, I think. Jake won’t be as plodding at MW, and there is no doubting his wrestling is good enough to win at 185, as he outlasted Hendo at that weight. He is dull as dishwater, but if he can be competitive in that weak division, then it is best for all of us.

    Also, I am hopeful this is an indication that his teammate Nick Diaz is not through, and Jake is making way for him, as they did in Strikeforce.

    I hope we one day get a chance to see Shields and Sonnen try to out lay-and-pray the other. I mean, it better not be a headliner, but I would like to see it, as a…um,…what’s the boring equivalent for ‘spectacle?’

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