Roundtable: Where Should Jake Shields Fight Next
With news breaking earlier this week that top 10 welterweight Jake Shields had been release from the UFC, Kingdom MMA writers Chris Houten, Chris Marzella, and Alex Dillon take a look at what the future may hold for Jake Shields.
Chris Houten - @Mrhouts
The UFC is the best organisation for mixed martial arts in the world, the same way the English premier league is arguably the best football league in the world, therefore both should be made up of the best of the best. In the case of the premier league, you would expect to see the best teams in the league, the same way you would expect to see the best fighters signed to the UFC. In the premier league the 3 worse teams go down, while boring to watch teams like Stoke City hang around because they did what they had to get the victories..... boring or not. Why? Because football is a sport first and foremost, where the best compete against each other.
Jake Shields is the Stoke City of MMA, no one really wants to watch him, but if the UFC is truly a sport and the biggest league in its sports, then surely entertainment shouldn't come into it and we shouldn't even be having this conversation.
If Jake Shields is looking at his future beyond fighting then the offer from newly formed Titan FC his manager Lex McMahon mention on the MMA hour on Monday which includes equity might be the way Shields goes. He could may also consider ONE FC who by all accounts were willing to pay more than anyone else for similarly boring Ben Askren. From a competitive stand point though I'd like see Shields join WSOF where the best Welterweights outside the UFC reside. With the like of Palharus, Fitch, and Burkman as well as former champ Steve Carl, there is there is enough tough guys in World Series of Fighting to keep Jake Shields fighting at a competitive level and if he is still interested in competing for glory I expect WSOF to be his next home.
Chris Marzella - @ChrisMarzella
Once again we find ourselves talking about a guy firmly in the upper bracket of title contenders being cut. We've had Jon Fitch, Yushin Okami and now Jake Shields. The thing with Shields is his record. Look at the list of guys he has beaten recently. Tyron Woodley, Demian Maia, both guys who have been discussed as title challengers themselves. Shields was brutalised by Hector Lombard but I really don't think that lowers his stock much at all.
You need to look at what's best for Jake now. Does he want the biggest and best fights? Or does he want to make a quick buck? He's 35-years-old now and will probably have one big contract left in him at this point. I can't see him heading to Bellator because quite frankly their welterweight division isn't worth much at all. Without wanting to sound disrespectful, theor 170-pound division is so far below Shields level it's scary.
The more exciting prospect is seeing him head on over to the World Series of Fighting and into a budding 170-pound division with exciting, credible challenges for him. Palhares, Burkman, Fitch, Carl. The welterweights is one division WSOF can use as its flagship weightclass and would be a perfect fit for Shields.
Outside of those two there is always of a one off with Ben Askren over at One FC.but then again, where does he go after that fight.
I for one am hoping to see Jake Shields in an WSOF cage in the near future.
Alex Dillon - @_alexdillon_
If I could sum up Jake Shields’ UFC run in one word it would have to be ‘disappointing’. Before his UFC stint, he defeated elite level fighters such as Dan Henderson, Robbie Lawler and Carlos Condit which certainly had me thinking this guy could actually beat GSP when the time came. Ever since that fight he’s been on and off squeaking through fights with a few split decisions so to speak. There could also be the argument that he ‘peaked’ a long time ago and just didn’t have it anymore once he arrived in the UFC.
Dana wasn’t wrong when he recently referred to him as just ‘another guy’ in my eyes he’s not someone who can sell a UFC PPV or even put bums on seats for a Fight Night card.
So where does he go from here? Well the obvious route in my opinion is WSOF, you’ve got Rousimar Palhares who’s the 170lb champion there as well as Jon Fitch who’s the #1 contender. Two really intriguing match ups for Shields, both are elite BJJ guys just like Shields. On a more interesting note, Shields never managed to face either in the UFC so WSOF have a selling point already. Shields will also undoubtedly get a good contract there as well as opportunities to fight for the Welterweight belt so I can’t see a better option for him going forward.