Jake Shields Released After Underwhelming Stint in UFC

Published on April 7th, 2014 3:12 pm EST

Jake Shields, former Strikeforce Middleweight champion and former UFC Welterweight title contender, was released by the UFC earlier today.

Shields, who was brought in by the UFC to challenge Georges St. Pierre for his Welterweight title, underperformed expectations during his stint in the UFC. Shields was seen as having a boring and fan-unfriendly style and this surely helped speed his exit from the UFC. In addition, Shields had a sizeable contract and the UFC obviously felt that they weren't getting their money's worth.

During his time with the UFC, Shields managed to compile a record of 4-3 with 1 no-contest. Shields' high point with the promotion was likely his dominant victory over Demian Maia at UFC Fight Night: Shields vs Maia. There was some time of Shields possibly earning another shot at the title with another win or two, but Hector Lombard put an end to that with a unanimous decision victory over Shields at UFC 171.

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Shields underwhelmed from the very beginning of his stint with the UFC. His first fight with the promotion was a title contender eliminator fight against Martin Kampmann, a fight that Shields barely won via split decision. Shields' next fight was against Georges St. Pierre - St. Pierre won the fight via unanimous decision and went on to say that it was one of his most disappointing fights ever.

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Of Shields' eight fights in the UFC, all but one went to a decision. The only fight that included a finish was when Shields was knocked out inside of a minute by Jake Ellenberger. This lack of finish certainly hurt Shields as the UFC has publicly professed a love for fighters who finish fights.

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So what's next for Jake Shields? Given that he is a former title holder, there is no doubt that Shields will find work quickly with a promotion like WSOF or Bellator.

One of the most interesting questions - does this release hurt the credibility of the UFC? After all, Shields was considered the #11 Welterweight fighter in the world. Much like the releases of Fitch and Okami, fans are wondering if releasing top end talents because of contract costs and/or other factors hurts the credibility of the world's largest mixed martial arts promotion.

What do you think?


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