MMA Odds and Ends for Friday: Jake Shields Signs With WSOF

UFC Fight Night 29 Wrap Up: Jake Shields Breaks Through in Brazil Jake Shields is no long unemployed. On Thursday, a World Series of Fighting executive confirmed with Bleacher Report that Shields has inked a contract with WSOF and his first fight in the promotion will come in the next few months. The signing of Shields by WSOF comes just a few weeks after he was unceremoniously cut by the UFC after going 4-3, 1 NC in the Octagon and getting dominated by Hector Lombard in his last Zuffa appearance at UFC 171. Although Shields’ grinding style wasn’t fan friendly and although the UFC brass didn’t think he was worth the money he was earning, most fans and media actually believed the UFC shouldn’t have cut Shields since MMA is a sport and Shields’ record is indicative of an elite welterweight fighter. However, just like Jon Fitch and Yushin Okami before him, Shields’ grinding style and the fact he is high up in the pay scale weren’t enough for the UFC to keep him around and now Shields joins those other elite grinders in the World Series of Fighting decagon, and I actually really like this signing for WSOF. I think there are a lot of interesting matchups for Shields in World Series, including — somewhat ironically — Fitch. There’s also Rousimar Palhares, there’s Josh Burkman, there’s Steve Carl, and there’s also Gerald Harris lurking around, all former UFC or Bellator veterans who are primarily grapplers and who would make for intriguing (but maybe not exciting) matchups for Shields. However, it’s possible that WSOF gives Shields an easy matchup in his promotional debut against a nobody, such as how they gave Okami a blowout match against Svetlozar Savov in his first WSOF fight, even though I feel Shields doesn’t necessarily need a step down in competition to gain his confidence back or anything like that. It’s too bad Ben Askren signed with ONE FC instead of WSOF because had he signed there I think a fight against Shields would have been extremely interesting and I would have definitely tuned into that. But even without Askren, WSOF still has an excellent welterweight roster that includes a number of UFC and Bellator veterans as well as a number of up-and-coming prospects and I definitely feel like World Series is on the right track here with their signings, even though UFC president Dana White and UFC matchmaker — the two men who decided to cut Shields and the others like Fitch — would of course disagree.

Written by Adam Martin.

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