Custom Search

Share MMA News

Share Share

Monday, November 2, 2009

Jake Shields ready for strikefore MMA fight Nov. 6 2009 or ready for some UFC ?

After a string of a dozen consecutive victories against notables ranging from Yushin Okami to Carlos Condit to Mike Pyle to Paul Daley to Robbie Lawler, Jake Shields has clearly established himself as one of the sport's top fighters. But with a Saturday Strikeforce title fight with Jason "Mayhem" Miller earning the winner the vacant middleweight belt, the former welterweight now has his sights set on domination in two divisions. But while Shields is willing to fight just about anyone (and has), he recently told mmajumkie) there's one name that could prevent the jiu-jitsu ace from claiming championships in two weight classes. That name is Nick Diaz, a fellow Strikeforce fighter who Shields now considers "a brother." Both Cesar Gracie-trained fighters are some of the top stars in the fast rising Strikeforce promotion, which kicks off its new CBS broadcast deal with a live airing of "Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers" Nov. 7 at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Ill. Shields vs. Miller is billed as the night's co-main event. Shields, who now makes the move to 185 after defeating Robbie Lawler at a catch-weight of 182 pounds back in June, is enjoying the new weight class. "Not cutting weight is awesome," he said. "I certainly enjoy fighting at 185 more." Despite the move up, Shields isn't committing fully to 185. In fact, he has plans to return to welterweight at some point. "I've bulked up," Shields said. "I'm still not a true 185-pounder. But I've bulked up. During training I weigh 191 or 192 (pounds), and it kind of sticks. I don't want to go much higher." So if Shields (23-4-1) defeats Miller (22-6), would he then want a shot to claim the welterweight belt too? Strikeforce hasn't crowned a welterweight champion (though Diaz and fellow UFC vet Jay Hieron are the leading candidates to fight for it), and Shields would certainly be at the top of the list of contenders. "I definitely would," he said. "Nick Diaz is my training partner, and I'm not trying to cut him off, but I would. We've never really sat and decided who wants to do what. But I definitely want to fight for both." In fact, Shields said, he probably never would have moved up to 185 pounds in the first place if Strikeforce had added depth to the division a bit earlier. "Most likely I'd be at 170," he said. "The main reason I went up (a weight class) was because of the lack of good opponents for me. Shields said he has no problems fighting Miller despite their previous relationship. Shields actually appeared as a guest star on Shields' MTV reality series "Bully Beatdown" (and dished out some serious justice to the local bully), and the two have trained together. But with Diaz, he said it's different. "It's easy to turn that off (with Miller)," Shields said. "I've fought ... other friends in the past, and Mayhem and I are kind of acquaintances and aren't really friends. We've hung out together a couple times and trained together a couple times. But it's not like we call each other and check up and see how we're both doing. We're not that close. I've got nothing bad to say about him, but I don't have a problem busting him in the face either. "It's a little different with Nick Diaz. Like I said, Mayhem and I are more acquaintances. But with Nick, I've been good friends with him for eight years. ... He's more like a brother to me. It'd be too weird fighting him. He's the only guy I wouldn't fight." But what if the exposure and offer were so lucrative that they'd be crazy not to fight? What is gobs of money were thrown at the two fighters, for example, to headline a CBS card? "It would have to be so much money – more than they're willing to offer," Shields said. "It'd have to be way over than they're paying right now. I guess if they coughed up a million dollars, we'd think about it. But I doubt that's the case, but I guess you never know. The money's going up now." Obviously, when talking about the future, there's another topic that often comes up. You can't discuss world rankings and top-level competition without mentioning the UFC, especially when it comes to the welterweight division, which is ruled by UFC fighters. Shields admits he has one dream fight for his career. "The UFC obviously has (UFC welterweight champion) GSP (Georges St-Pierre), and that's a fight I would love," he said. "That'd be my ideal fight if I were with the UFC." So, would he join the UFC? After excelling as one of the top non-UFC fighters in the sport today, would he finally jump ship and join the worldwide leader in MMA? "That's a tough call right there because I really like both," he said. "Strikeforce treats me great and have been really good. They support me. I love fighting in Strikeforce. "The UFC obviously is the bigger name and has some great fights. Right now, I'm taking it one fight at a time and will figure it out from there."

Shop Amazon Deals