Veteran welterweight Jake Shields has found a new home after his recent release from the UFC. The former Strikeforce champion has inked a multi-fight deal with the World Series of Fighting promotion. Shields was cut after a lopsided decision loss at UFC 171 against Hector Lombard. Interestingly enough, the loss was just his first in five fights and represented his first setback since 2011.
The 35-year-old Shields went just 4-3 with one no-contest during his eight-fight Octagon tenure and simply failed to live up to the high expectations that existed when he joined the promotion. In the end his hefty price tag and grinding, non fan-friendly style led to his demise. The high point for Shields was a title fight at UFC 129 against then-champion Georges St.Pierre in front of 55,000 fans. St. Pierre retained his title via a unanimous decision.
The release of Shields was very similar to the high-profile departures of Jon Fitch and Yushin Okami. Those former UFC title challengers and perennial top-10 contenders also ended up signing with the WSOF.
Shields, who has an impressive 29-7-1 career record, joins a 170-pound weight class in the WSOF that is currently ruled by former UFC bad boy Rousimar Palhares. Palhares won the title in his organizational debut by submitting Steve Carl in the first round of their matchup at WSOF 9. “Toquinho” is due to defend his title in July against Fitch. The division also features the likes of Josh Burkman and Gerald Harris.
Shields will likely make his WSOF promotional debut this summer. When he was dumped by the UFC it was expected that Shields would land on his feet soon, and that’s exactly how things played out.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports