I can see both sides of this spectrum. Jake Shields, as they say, is a pretty boring fighter; he has never really put on any barn burners, and has not finished a fight in a little more than five years. I believe that he has earned the stigma of “grinder” and “seat-belt,” but why is everyone sleeping on him in this fight? It is because he is fighting Hector Lombard. Lombard is probably the polar opposite of Shields, because Lombard has knocked out a bunch of opponents, including his last fight when he knocked Nate Marquardt out. So, I guess it makes sense that the fans are sleeping on him. However, I think the fans are making a big mistake.
Shields’ is a boring fighter, but he does it so well. He is able to take people down and hold them there, doing just enough to not force a stand up. It might be bad art, but it is art nonetheless. I am fully expecting Shields to do much of the same in this fight, but I am also expecting Shields to go for more submissions and even get one. We saw in Shields’ last fight against Jiu-Jitsu guru Demain Maia, that Shields’ grappling is on another level. It was ultra-impressive to see Shields go move-for-move with Maia and even sweep him a couple times. Though Shields never really committed to any submission attempts, I think he will in his fight against Lombard.
Shields is finally in title-contention again, and he knows that this fight against Lombard could get him the next shot. The only thing he will have to do is finish Lombard, which is no easy task. Let’s face the facts, kids — you have a better chance at getting a blind date with Rhonda Rousey than Shields does of knocking out Lombard. Shields is going to have to take Lombard down and submit him; call me crazy, but I think that we could see that tonight.