Grappler Jake Shields entered the UFC as Strikeforce’s middleweight champion, defeating Dan Henderson in his final fight under the organization’s banner. Shields then slimmed down to welterweight in hopes of finding similar success against opponents closer to him in size. However, he only went 2-2 at 170 pounds and decided to beef back up to compete without the additional strain of cutting weight.
While Shields did win his initial encounter in the Octagon at 185 pounds, the triumph was quickly turned into a No Contest after it was discovered he’d use a banned substance prior to the pairing. Now cleared for a return to the ring, Shields has come to grips with welterweight being his best option and will move back down for his next fight.
“I made some changes (to my diet), my weight came down, my cardio feels better, I feel a lot cleaner with more energy,” said Shields to Bleacher Report.
When it comes to his next in-ring offering, Shields doesn’t have a specific opponent in mind for the future fight – he has a few of them. In general, he wants to face one of the top guys on the roster to show he still belongs in discussion for contendership.
“I’d like to fight someone tough. I’d like to fight Jake Ellenberger. That’s the one loss that I felt I’d really like the chance to repeat myself on. Carlos Condit would make a lot of sense. He’s really good or Rory MacDonald, he’s good. Just any of these guys that are good,” explained Shields.
Shields holds an overall record of 27-6-1 with past wins over the likes of Condit, Yushin Okami, Yoshihiro Akiyama, and Martin Kampmann. Ten of his tilts have ended with his hand raised as the result of a submission.
No date/event were mentioned in terms of when/where Shields expects his fight to unfold.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC