A little more than 24 hours ago, news broke that that UFC had released No. 11 ranked welterweight Jake Shields. The move was somewhat surprising, considering that Shields was 3-0-1-1 in his last five fights in the UFC.
Shields' lone loss during that run came in his most recent bout; a March 15 unanimous decision defeat at the hands of No. 6 ranked Hector Lombard. Shields' manager Lex McMahon appeared on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, and said of that loss and Shields' subsequent release, "To lose one fight and then all of a sudden be out of a job was something that I believe was surprising and not contemplated."
In fact, McMahon's thoughts heading into the Lombard fight were, "We were really positioned and looking for Jake as a potential title contender, given the mix of the landscape after Georges (St-Pierre) retired. Jake had beaten pretty much everybody that was out there. He beat (Carlos) Condit, he beat (Tyron) Woodley, he beat (Demian) Maia."
McMahon summed up the situation by saying, "The right performance, he potentially fights for the title. The wrong performance, he's looking for a new job."
Of that new job, McMahon said that he felt Shields would have one very soon and that he and his client had, "Gotten some very interesting offers and some overtures from most of the players you would expect."
According to McMahon, shortly after learning of his release Shields gave his manager a mandate to "Go out and get him the best opportunity that's going to give him the best economic incentive as well as the best matchups and the best opportunity to be on a big platform in terms of television and continue to fight in front of as many people as possible."
McMahon said that Shields wants to sign with a promotion that will offer him exciting fights as well the opportunity to prove that he is a top ten fighter in the 170-pound division.
"Jake grinds out wins, but the bottom line is that he wins, and he wins at a very high level. He beats some of the best guys out there," said McMahon.