Jake Shields Signs With The UFC, Returns To 170Former EliteXC and Strikeforce champion Jake Shields is set to officially sign with the UFC and will return to the welterweight division for his UFC debut. GracieFighter.com was first to report on the news and Shields could make his first appearance inside the Octagon as early as UFC 121.

Shields was released from his Strikeforce contract at the end of June and was subsequently stripped of the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship. A bout with welterweight contender Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann is planned for Shields’s UFC debut, but has not yet been signed.

Shields (25-4-1) has not lost in over five and a half years and has held titles in a variety of promotions. He made his EliteXC debut on September 15, 2007 and captured the promotion’s welterweight title in 2008. Following EliteXC’s collapse, Shields’s contract was picked up by Strikeforce and he went on to become Strikeforce Middleweight Champion with a five-round decision win over Jason “Mayhem” Miller last November. He successfully defended the title against former two-division PRIDE champ Dan “Hendo” Henderson in April, but his Strikeforce contract expired and a new deal could not be reached.

With Shields now poised to be a part of the UFC’s roster, he could make his long-awaited debut as early as UFC 121 in October. MMARising.com has confirmed that Kampmann is indeed the targeted opponent for Shields in his first UFC fight, but that bout has not yet been signed. Kampmann sports a 6-2 record inside the Octagon and holds recent wins over former WEC champ Carlos Condit and fellow contender Paulo Thiago. He has lost just once as a UFC welterweight.

Strikeforce will crown a new Middleweight Champion on August 21st and the promotion plans to hold an eight-man tournament later in the Fall.


This article was updated with clarification from UFC President Dana White that Shields has not yet signed a UFC contract, but terms have been agreed to and should be finalised by next week.



(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)

  1. I think that Jake Shields is best suited for middleweight. He’s actually be a good matchup for Anderson Silva. He has the wrestling to be able to get the fight to the ground and is BJJ is on an awesome level that he will be able to prevent submissions and perhaps even submit Anderson himself.

    At welterweight, there’s too many great wrestlers who have good striking. Jake Shields weakness is his striking and I don’t see him being able to use his wrestling to take the likes of GSP or Koscheck to the mat.. He’d prob just get KO’d in the process.