Anderson Silva’s knockout of Vitor Belfort caused ramifications that will be felt throughout the UFC. The man who was at one time threatened with being released while being the UFC champion proved too many onlookers that he is still the man to beat in the pound for pound rankings. So much so that UFC President Dana White has confirmed that an Anderson Silva versus Georges St. Pierre matchup is coming to fruition.
With that announcement the MMA world lit up over the anticipation of the fight. Fans are having forum debates over who would win or why one fighter is better than the other. However, one person is left out of the equation and he is a very important person. That individual is Jake Shields.
Shields is the current number one contender to St. Pierre’s welterweight title. A former Strikeforce and Elite XC champion, Shields is very used to the underdog position. During his last fight with Strikeforce, Shields was paired against Dan Henderson for the middleweight title and even then he was an extreme underdog. He weathered Hendo’s opening salvo to dominate the remaining four rounds of the fight. With that victory, Shields left the organization on top.
Shields then walked into the UFC to take on striker Martin Kampmann. The UFC’s bright lights and big stage affect Shields as it had done so to other champions such as Takanori Gomi and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua who also didn’t perform well during their first UFC bouts. Along with that, Shields reportedly cut 18 to 20 pounds the day before the weigh-in; actions that would hurt any fighter’s performance.
Needless to say, very few individuals were impressed with Shields’s performance that night in October. This performance even has some individuals questioning whether Shield’s deserves the title shot that is coming later this month in Toronto. This is a grave mistake and overlooking the contender can be a dangerous mistake for the current UFC Welterweight Champion.
The 26-4-1 Jake Shields has an impressive MMA record. He is undefeated dating back to 2004, since then he has fought 15 times in the welterweight and middleweight classes. During that same period he was faced a number of serious challenges and came out on top each time. Shields has defeated such names as Henderson, former WEC champion and UFC contender Carlos Condit, former UFC contender and current Strikeforce contender Paul Daley, former Strikeforce contender Robbie Lawler, Jason Miller, current UFC middleweight number one contender Yushin Okami, and Mike Pyle. That is an impressive list no matter how you shake it. Had all these victories come while Shields was under the UFC banner, fans and experts alike would call him the number one contender to the title. However, he is being so wrongly overlooked.
Shields Brazilian Jiu Jitsu abilities are well beyond anything that St. Pierre has faced. To go along with that, Shields has a strong wrestling background with the abilities to take anyone off of their feet. Still, it is well documented that weakness is the stand up game. It has since been reported that Shields has traveled to Thailand to work on his Muay Thai abilities.
While it is understood that St. Pierre will walk into the Octagon the decided favorite in Toronto, fans and match makers alike are best served not to count out the Scrap Pack member. Jake Shields has flown under the radar to mainstream MMA fans for a long time and this matchup may be his coming out party.
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