After a huge victory over Demien Maia, UFC welterweight Jake Shields has his sights set on Robbie Lawler. Shields submitted Lawler via guillotine choke in their first encounter back in 2009 during their Strikeforce days. The end came at 2:02 of the very first round in what was a catchweight bout at 182 pounds.
Lawler has had a remarkable resurgence in the welterweight division in his second stint in the UFC, having gone a perfect 3-0. “Ruthless” is fresh off an impressive decision win over hot prospect Rory MacDonald at UFC 167. With that victory, Lawler finds himself ranked no.4 in the UFC top-10 rankings.
Shields had a prior title shot against longtime champion Georges St. Pierre back at UFC 129 in front of 55,000 fans in Toronto and dropped a unanimous decision. His UFC career hadn’t lived up to expectations, but he revitalized his stock in a big way at Fight Night 29 when he was able to derail Maia’s win streak with a split-decision victory in Brazil.
Shields believes a fight and victory over Lawler would be the fastest way to elevate himself into title contention. While he is impressed with the way Lawler has looked, Shields remains confident that he can duplicate his performance and record another submission victory. Shields had originally been eyeing a matchup with MacDonald, but that target changed after the loss from “Ares”.
A victory over the dangerous Lawler would definitely put him back in the title picture. While Lawler is seemingly on the cusp of a title shot in his own right, he probably wouldn’t mind a chance to exact some revenge. With so many top-flight 170-pound fighters, it’ll be interesting to see if the UFC matchmakers are interested in pursuing this option.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports