Former Strikeforce middleweight champion and former UFC welterweight contender Jake Shields has found a new promotion to call home.
The World Series of Fighting (WSOF) revealed on their Twitter account on Thursday that they had signed the 35 year old on a multi-fight deal. It has been speculated that Shields will have at least four fights for the promotion under the terms of the contract. Shields followed the same route as veteran lightweight Melvin Guillard who also made the switch from the UFC to the WSOF this year.
The UFC chose not to re-sign Shields after his decision loss to Hector Lombard at UFC 171. The veteran had compiled four wins, three losses and one no contest during his time at the world’s largest MMA promotion. Shields was comprehensively beaten by Lombard over three rounds in a performance that the impassioned Texan crowd felt was boo-worthy.
Despite this, it was Shields’s first loss in four trips to the Octagon, with his last defeat before Lombard being at the hands of Jake Ellenberger in 2011. A series of punishing knees from Ellenberger earned “the Juggernaut” a TKO victory within the first minute of the fight.
Shields has an impressive 29-7-1 (1) record in professional MMA with wins over big names in the sport such as Dan Henderson, Tyron Woodley, Demien Maia and Robbie Lawler, who fought for the welterweight belt at UFC 171.
Shields went on to face the then undisputed welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre at UFC 129. Although he ultimately lost the fight, he took it to a judges’ decision. Two of the judges deemed Shields to have won a round off arguably the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.
The acquisition means that Shields joins a stacked welterweight division which boasts names such as recent UFC exile Rousimar Palhares, TUF veteran Josh Burkman and another former UFC title contender Jon Fitch. The talent at 170 lb in the WSOF is undeniable and when you add Shields to the picture, it results a very credible division. Palhares currently holds the division title after submitting Steve Carl at WSOF 9 last month.
The WSOF are expected to announce Shields’s debut fight soon.