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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.