It was pretty much inevitable. Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields has now officially signed with the UFC.
It was pretty widely known that Shields wanted to come to the UFC. The signs were everywhere. Following the break-up of ProElite Shields was vocal about wanting to go to the UFC, but Strikeforce bought his contract. Shields fulfilled that contract and in the meantime won their middleweight title. Shields went 3-0 under the Strikeforce banner defeating Dan Henderson, Robbie Lawler and Jason Miller. Shields did not feel that Strikeforce promoted him as he deserved, especially in his fight with Dan Henderson. Following a shot of him posing with Dana White at the WEC pay per view even in Sacramento his move to the UFC seemed to be a lock.
Most people would consider Shields and top tiered middleweight and welterweight fighter. Shields has won 14 in row and in his career he has wins over current UFC fighters Yushin Okami, Carlos Condit, Mike Pyle. Also he holds wins over notable veteran such as Jason Miller, Dan Henderson, Robbie Lawler, Nick Thompson, Paul Daley, Dave Menne, Toby Imada and Hayato “Mach” Sakurai. The Cesar Gracie trained fighter certainly has earned the reputation as one of the pound for pound best mixed martial artists.
His signing leaves excitment for a potential match-up with Georges St. Pierre as well as contenders like Josh Koscheck, Thiago Alves, and Jon Fitch. Shields will compete primarily as a welterweight int he UFC although he has shown to be a serious contender even at 185 lbs.
His debut will come at UFC 121 on October 23 against Martin Kampmann. Kampmann is a serious challenger to anyone. Kampmann busted Carlos Condit’s debut with a win last year. Since dropping a fight to Paul Daley, Kampmann is on a two fight win streak. Most recently he defeated Paulo Thiago at UFC 115.
UFC 121 will take place in Anaheim, CA on October 23rd and will be headlined by a mega fight between Brock Lesnar and Cain Velasquez for the heavyweight title.