Weight Loss to Blame for Jake Shields’ Underwhelming UFC Debut?
Jake Shields made his UFC debut on Saturday night in Anaheim defeating Martin Kampmann by split decision at UFC 121. Shields may have won the fight but he looked unimpressive doing so. Moreover, his wrestling style bored fans who were looking for more action.
The 31-year-old, who extended his winning streak to 15 with the win, said UFC jitters and a weight drop played a role in his underwhelming performance. “I don’t want to make excuses, but it was my first time at 170 in while,” Shields said after the fight. “I cut 20 pounds in a day. I’ll never do that again. I kept my winning streak going, and I’m going to come back stronger next time.”
Shields had been fighting at the middleweight level in Strikeforce where the weight limit is 185 pounds. His match with Kampmann was a welterweight fight where the limit is 170 pounds, so the weight drop definitely played a role. Watching the fight, we commented immediately that Shields looked emaciated and as if he may have over-trained. He seemed to lack strength and stamina throughout the fight, so his post-fight comments definitely explain things. He won’t make the same mistake next time when he squares off against the GSP-Koscheck winner.
And if you really want to know how fans feel about Jake Shields, check out this video:
Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland for ESPN.com