WSOF 17 Fight Breakdown: Jake Shields vs. Brian Foster

UFC Fight Night 29 Wrap Up: Jake Shields Breaks Through in Brazil The main event of WSOF 17 is a three-round welterweight bout between Jake Shields and Brian Foster. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Shields is a -445 favorite (bet $445 to win $100) while Foster is a +315 underdog (bet $100 to win $315). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Shields at -350 and Foster at +250, and the early action is on Shields. I like Shields a good deal here and agree with the action coming in on him. Here’s why. Shields (30-7-1, 1 NC) is one of the elite welterweights in MMA. The 36-year-old American has notable career victories over the likes of Dan Henderson, Robbie Lawler, Demian Maia, Tyron Woodley, Carlos Condit, Martin Kampmann, Yushin Okami and Mike Pyle, just to name a few. That’s a tremendous resume and it’s a shame the UFC cut Shields because of his perceived “boring” fighting style. He is not exactly fun to watch, but he is extremely effective at what he does and there’s something to be said for that. Sheilds owns an elite grappling game — he outgrappled Maia for five rounds when they fought — and has 11 wins by submission in his career. His offensive wrestling isn’t great, but again, it’s effective, and he has very good takedown defence as well. He excels at pushing his opponents up against the fence and wearing them out there, which is how he beat Woodley. He doesn’t have great striking, but it’s surprisingly efficient and he used his pitter-patter kickboxing game to beat Yoshihiro Akiyama. He also has a great chin and has only been knocked out twice in his career, once by Jake Ellenberger and once early in his career. I think Shields is one of the best welterweight fighters in the world and while his game isn’t exciting, it works for him, and I respect that. He has a good matchup here style-wise against Foster and if he wins this fight he will get a title shot against WSOF welterweight champion Rousimar Palhares. Foster (22-6) is a very underrated welterweight and would be in the UFC right now if it wasn’t for some widely-reported medical issues. The 30-year-old American is currently riding a four-fight win streak and has eight victories in his last nine fights overall. In his career he holds wins over the likes of Matt Brown, Steve Carl, Gilbert Smith, Forrest Petz, Brock Larson and Nathan Coy, so he’s no joke. He is a solid all-around fighter with good striking, nasty submissions and decent wrestling. He is also a finisher, with 21 of his victories coming by way of TKO or submission. However, while he is a special talent offensively, defensively he is flawed and has been submitted five times and knocked out once. He will have to finish Shields while at the same time not get finished himself to win this fight, and it won’t be easy to do. He has a puncher’s chance, but that’s it. It’s a bad matchup for Foster and I see it playing out like his fight against Rick Story at UFC 103 where he lost by second-round arm-triangle choke, but we’ll see. Foster is a good fighter but he has nothing for Shields. He won’t knock Shields out on the feet and submitting Shields is an even tougher task, so how does he win? Shields is going to do what he does best and make this a really ugly fight. I see him shoving Foster up against the fence, wearing him out, and eventually getting the fight to the mat where he will sink in a submission. I like Shields a lot here and at -445 he is solid parlay material for the weekend. He’s been one of the most consistent winners the sport has ever seen at welterweight and I think he wins yet again this weekend.

Written by Adam Martin.

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