Many fans felt Jake Shields was the answer to beating champion Georges St-Pierre based on the former Strikeforce title-holder’s grappling ability and success against the likes of Yushin Okami, Carlos Condit, and Dan Henderson. However, he barely got by Martin Kampmann and was beaten in a fairly one-sided fashion by GSP shortly thereafter. He’s 2-1 since, so in that regard Shields has performed well, but both of his wins were plodding affairs and he also tested positive for a banned substance during the span. If he loses to Demian Maia in a matter of weeks, Shields could very well end up fighting for his job in the following fight.
There are a lot of components involved when it comes to finding consistent success inside the Octagon. Without the right training camp, dedication to one’s craft, ability to stay healthy, avoiding problems outside of the cage, and numerous other factors in place there’s a good chance a fighter will only make it to a certain level before fizzling out. While such runs are commendable, they’re also commonplace, allowing the cream to truly rise to the top. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)
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