Newly-signed UFC welterweight Jake Shields met up with Martin Kampmann in his first bout in the organization. While Shields earned the win, he disappointed a lot of people—including himself.
“I was being stupid,” Shields said on “The Savage Dog Show” on the Sherdog Radio Network. “I misjudged some things. I misjudged the weight cut coming down. I made a lot of mistakes, but at least I learned from it with Martin before I fight for a title shot. Definitely I plan on learning from the mistakes and coming back a lot stronger.”
Entering the bout, UFC president Dana White had said that Shields was one win away from a title shot. However, after his bout many people were critical of Shields’ performance and have since said that he needs another fight before facing off for the title. Even Shields himself is not sure if he is now in line for a title.
“I’m still, at this point, not 100 percent sure,” Shields said. “I know Dana’s made it sound like it’s a good chance it’s still happening, but I don’t know until it’s signed. Right now I’m just back to the gym, doing my thing. If they want me to fight for the title, I’ll happily do that. If not, I’ll fight whoever they want me to fight.”
One reason for Shields’ disappointing performance was the weight cut. He had been fighting at 185-pounds during his time in Strikeforce. Without having the experience of cutting the extra weight, Shields was faced with a tough time enter his Kampmann bout. He knew he had to make the weight at all costs.
“If I didn’t make weight, I’d have probably lost that title shot. I made sure to come in there and make it. I’m not that happy with my performance overall, but I am happy I won. I’m ready to move forward and have a better second fight in the UFC.”
“It’s just a matter of getting my weight down a little more so I don’t go out there and look like crap in a title fight. The way I fought the other night, I don’t feel like I would have won a title that night. But I do feel like it’s something I’m capable of doing. I just felt like I wasn’t myself that night.”
I can sympathize with Shields. He was suffering from a difficult weight cut and was fighting through an adrenaline dump that most fighters witness in their first UFC bouts. Even with being completely exhausted, Shields did his job and earned the victory over the very tough Kampmann.
Welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre is a completely different animal, but I believe with a good diet and a better weight cutting strategy Shields could give the champ fits. Shields has some of the best jiu jitsu at 170-pounds and could threaten GSP off his back.
So what say you? Is Shields worthy of a title shot or should he have one more test?