Despite speculation to the contrary, Jake Shields isn’t closing the door on his UFC welterweight career just yet. Instead, the former Strikeforce middleweight champ is opening a different one with his interest in moving back to 185 pounds.
Shields entered the UFC and was granted a shot at welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre after a decision victory against Martin Kampmann. Shields, however, was unsuccessful against GSP and followed it up with a knockout loss to Jake Ellenberger in his next bout. After rebounding to defeat Yoshihiro Akiyama earlier this year, it was reported on UFC Tonight this past week that Shields was headed to the middleweight division.
“Right now, I’m trying to bulk up and see how I feel,” said Shields, in an interview with MMAWeekly. “It’s not 100-percent (the move to middleweight). I’m certainly not against it and I’m kind of leaning towards making a fight at 185.”
Shields believes he could challenge the best at welterweight still, but the move to middleweight would allow him to be bigger and stronger, making his already-excellent takedowns that much more explosive.
“I’m in no rush. If they call with an opponent at 185, I’d take it right now cause I’ll have enough time to bulk up,” said Shields, who is targeting late-July/early-August as a return date. “If they call with a good offer at 70, then I’d take that, as well.”
Shields holds an overall record of 27-6 with wins over some of MMA’s best including Carlos Condit, Yushin Okami, and Dan Hendesron.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC/STRIKEFORCE