A pivotal welterweight bout takes place this weekend for UFC 161 between Jake Shields and Tyron Woodley. Both of these fighters are vying to move up the welterweight rankings, where Georges St. Pierre is currently at the top.
Coming into this bout, Shields sports an overall record of 27-6-1-1. He is the former Strikeforce middleweight champion, holding notable victories over Dan Henderson, Jason Miller, and Robbie Lawler. A win over Woodley would be a huge feather in his cap, and would put him right back in the mix in this heavily competitive division.
Since coming into the UFC, Shields hasn’t been too consistent. His worst defeat to date was against Jake Ellenberger, where Ellenberger was able to knock him out in the first round. He will be looking to put all of the losses and controversies behind him when he squares off against Woodley.
Woodley comes into this bout with an overall record of 11-1. His lone defeat came at the hands of Nate Marquardt, who was able to KO Woodley in the fourth round. Soon after this loss, Woodley made his UFC debut, where he would end up getting the KO against a very game Jay Hieron. Woodley has always been an incredible wrestler inside the cage, but his hands look to be improving with every fight. He has knockout power in his hands, making him a stern test for any fighter in the division.
Both fighters have well-rounded grappling games, where Shields likes to use his American jiu jitsu style to stifle his opponents. Similarly, Woodley likes to smother his opponents from the top, and it will be interesting to see if he can avoid the submission attack of Shields.