Jake Shields looks across the cage at UFC 144 on Feb. 25, 2012 in Saitama, Japan. Image via Esther Lin of MMA Fighting
Former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields has been a welterweight for most of his career, but undoubtedly had his most success in a brief stint at middleweight in 2009-10. And it appears he will be going back up to 185 for his next fight. The move was announced on last night's episode of UFC Tonight on Fuel, and UFC.com put out a brief blurb about it as well:
According to a report on FUEL TV's UFC Tonight Tuesday, former UFC welterweight title challenger Jake Shields is moving up to the 185-pound division later this year.
The Californian is no stranger to middleweight though, having won a Strikeforce title there, and among his victims in the division are Dan Henderson Jason Miller, and Robbie Lawler. Shields is coming off a UFC 144 win over Yoshihiro Akiyama in February.
Shields (27-5-1) has talked about putting on muscle to aid in his switch to middleweight, and would like to fight in August according to the report. He has fought four times in the UFC at 170, going 2-2, which included a title shot at UFC 129 against George St. Pierre that he lost. He is currently ranked at number 8 in the USA Today/SB Nation Consensus Rankings at welterweight.
He obviously feels that his game is better suited to middleweight, but he's still quite small for the division. Ryan Jimmo talked on twitter about training with Shields, and figured he was 190 pounds or so. Still, it's hard to argue with past success and we'll find out soon enough if it was a successful move or not.