Sports

UFC Making A Run At Jake Shields

Jake ShieldsStrikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields has gone from the most boring fighter in MMA to the hottest MMA free agent. Dana White has turned all of his attention to Jake Shields and claims that the UFC will sign Shields. Is Jake Shields a great UFC addition or fool’s gold?

I find myself shaking my head every time I hear Dana White talk about Jake Shields as if he is the next coming of Georges St. Pierre. Shields is a free agent and will be free to sign a contract with anyone in the next several weeks. Dana White was seen on camera at the Aldo vs. Faber show mouthing the words, “He’s mine.”

In addition to bolstering a struggling UFC middleweight and welterweight divisions, signing Jake Shields brings a little something extra to Dana White. Shields the current Strikeforce middleweight champion and just fresh off of their main-event on CBS will now be in the UFC. The signing would a big screw you from the UFC to Strikeforce and CBS. The extra incentive will probably put a lot more dollars in Jake Shields’ pockets than he imagined when he planned to seek out other MMA opportunities.

The buzz is that Jake Shields vs. Georges St. Pierre would be Shields’ first UFC match. There was even talk of placing the two as opposing coaches on TUF, but White has nixed that idea due to time constraints. Shields would move down in weight, something he has done before as he was the last Elite XC welterweight champion. On paper the idea of a Strikeforce champion vs. UFC champion sounds fun. In the octagon, it is probably the last match that most MMA fans want to see.

Up until he beat Dan Henderson, Jake Shields was known as a boring fighter. Even in the pre-fight interview, Dan Henderson acknowledged this as well as the announcers. Shields is a great grappler, but his striking skills are suspect at best. The last thing that I want to see is Georges St. Pierre and Jake Shields grapple for 25 minutes. Technically it could turn out to be a fun fight. On paper, it just seems like a train wreck waiting to happen.

Now a Jake Shields vs. Anderson Silva match would make much more sense. The battle of the middleweight champions seems a bit more obvious. Silva would likely want to make a statement due to Shields’ reputation and push the fight. Shields grounding Silva would provide some of the best UFC drama in years. I know Chael Sonnen is the true number one contender, but this is one of those matches where the style should dictate a great fight.

I just can’t understand the obsession that Dana White has in getting Jake Shields into the UFC. If there is anything that Dana White has grown to hate, it is a boring fighter. So why make a run at a guy who has a reputation as a boring fighter? If the idea is addition by subtraction in hurting Strikeforce, I don’t see it. The ratings for the last CBS show indicate that Jake Shields wasn’t a ratings draw for Strikeforce. So what exactly is Dana White taking away from Strikeforce? If the idea of snatching their champion is supposed to be such a big deal, this is a company whose heavyweight champion hasn’t fought in two years!

I have watched Jake Shields quite a bit over the years and while he is good, he is nobody that will sell a ticket. The intrigue of seeing him vs. GSP could be a draw, but the disappointment after that fight ends will negate any positives coming out of the signing. Dana White knows a heck of a lot more about promoting MMA than I do but I just don’t see it with Jake Shields. I’d rather see the guy he knocked out back in the UFC than see Jake Shields step anywhere near a UFC ring.

Is the obsession with Strikeforce worth over paying a boring fighter and putting him into a main-event? The UFC will find out soon if all reports are true.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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