It wasn’t that long ago that Jake Shields sat near the top of the welterweight division, and had more than a few pundits saying he posed a legitimate threat to Georges St. Pierre’s reign. Sure, striking enthusiasts might not flock to catch the renowned grappler’s fights, but that doesn’t change the fact no fighter wants to deal with Shields’ top game. Just ask Dan Henderson.
While some people have likely written Shields off, thanks to losses to GSP and Jake Ellenberger, naturally the former Strikeforce champ is bent on making another title run. Up next, Shields will take on Tyron Woodley at UFC 161 on June 15th, and while speaking to MMA Weekly.com, the welterweight relayed how important it is for him to score a big win.
“I need to go out there and win the fight. But not only win, I need to finish him and try to put on an exciting fight and try to show that I am out there and try to get my name back in title contention,” said Shields, who is returning from a suspension for testing positive for a banned substance, following his UFC 150 bout with Ed Herman. “I want to get my name back out there right now and have them start talking about me fighting for the title again.”
Considering Wooodley has only lost once in 12 fights (against Nate Marquardt last summer) and bombed out Jay Hieron in 36 seconds at UFC 156, finishing the Strikeforce vet would certainly be a good start. Even a decision win over Woodley would be a huge one for Shields. Taking the decorated wrestler down will be tough and Woodley’s also got some power in his hands.
Stay tuned to MMA Frenzy.com for more on UFC 161 as the card draws near.