After a UFC career that spanned over three years and eight fights, longtime welterweight and middleweight contender Jake Shields finds himself on the unemployment line following his release from the organization. The release comes just a few weeks after Shields suffered a lopsided unanimous decision loss to Hector Lombard in a featured bout at UFC 171.

As a former Strikeforce and Elite XC champion, there was a lot of hype behind Shields before he made his UFC debut in late 2010 against Martin Kampmann. Having won the Elite XC belt at welterweight and his Strikeforce title at 185 pounds, Shields was considered a legit title threat in both divisions from the start in the UFC, and he was thrown into the fire immediately upon his debut.

After squeaking past Kampmann with a split decision win, Shields earned himself a shot at welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre at UFC 129. The former Strikeforce champ did better than most against GSP, damaging the champion’s eye and winning a round or two on the judges’ scorecards. But, in the end, Shields fell short against ‘Rush’ and was sent back to the end of the long line of welterweight contenders.

Following the loss to St-Pierre, Shields was set to fight Jake Ellenberger at a UFC Fight Night event in September of 2011. Despite the passing of his father close to the date of the fight, Shields elected to compete and suffered his first knockout loss in over ten years.

Shields recovered well, winning his next fight against Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 144 in order to snap his career worst two-fight losing streak, but he ran into trouble again following his next bout. The Gracie jiu-jitsu fighter moved back up to middleweight for his next bout, and after dispatching UFC veteran Ed Herman by decision at UFC 150 it was announced that Shields had failed his post-fight drug test. This both overturned his win and killed the momentum he had built. Shields didn’t return to the cage for another 10 months, this time back in the welterweight division.

A two-fight winning streak over respected contenders Demian Maia and Tyron Woodley got the ball rolling for Shields again last year, but like most of his UFC bouts, neither performance resembled anything fan friendly. After getting handily beaten by Lombard last month, the UFC decided to pull the trigger on Shields’ release. He now joins fighters like Jon Fitch and Yushin Okami who were also high profile cuts by the UFC over the last year.

  • Jon Doe

    Good move UFC, the guy has absolutely no business in modern mma, he cant strike standing or on the ground, he pulled off a few submissions (mostly bums and strikers) and all he does is hug people for 15 minutes. He his far worse than Fitch and Okami, at least those guys cause damage while they lay and prey. Fitch ground and pound is not bad at all, roughed up Silva and Alves pretty good, Okami actually finished a few of his fights. (I think that was a bad decision) while Shields against anyone with TD defense has nothing, cant do nothing, just stands there shoots for TD and fails miserably. Ends up trying to clinch, wall and stall to avoid getting punched. Good riddance