Jake Shields (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)WSOF 14’s Jake Shields: The Experience Factor of Welterweight Division Monta Wiley October 8, 2014 News With a collection of rising, current, and veteran competitors of MMA competing under one new roof the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) has paved the way for many fighters offering them a new platform to enhance and even rejuvenate their fight careers. With the assistance of President Ray Sefo many athletes have been well accommodated since their signing which only provides the makings of drawing more world caliber figures to this rising new fight league. Hoping to reclaim his status as one of the best fighters in the world Jake Shields has become the newest acquisition to the WSOF’s welterweight roster. A Strikeforce and UFC world title holder with 27 wins, 7 losses, and 1 draw, Shields has built a 15 year career to becoming one of the most decorated and respected competitors in Mixed Martial Arts. Recently parting ways with the UFC in April 2014 his signing with the WSOF raises the bar in competition with an already stacked group of tough contenders scratching to capture the Welterweight Championship belt. Still enthusiastic about fighting and aiming to make an impact in this new promotion venture Shields possess a great threat to any opponent that is matched up with him. The Gracie Fighter apprentice has had many highlight reel matches which include notable victories over Dan Henderson, Robbie Lawler, Damien Maia, amongst other MMA greats. This factor gives Shields an edge in the division supported from his experience of handling a wide range of diverse fighting styles from past opponents. His mental edge competing is also an asset. Calm, collective, and composed even in the grimmest of scenarios this mental strategy has allowed Shields weather any storm to systematically picking apart and finishing all of his opponents something very few athletes have mastered as Mixed Martial Arts competitors. However don’t take anything away from the likes of equally talented welterweights like John Fitch, Brian Foster, and current champion Rousimar Palhares who can easily put a halt to Shields’ plans of reigning supreme in the division. In order to stay afloat against these rivals Shields must not only use his superb submission ground game but explore other options for strengthening his overall fight game. One of Shield’s biggest flaws has been his stand-up game and lack of growth to becoming a well-rounded fighter. Past opponents like George St-Pierre, Jake Ellenberger, and Hector Lombard have easily dominated him which exposed Shields as a fighter whose style isn’t hard to figure out. Whether or not Jake has fixed these errors training for his first WSOF fight is still a mystery, but it won’t be too long until we find out. Making his promotion debut at WSOF 14 in Edmonton Shields will be going up against Tri-Star Prospect Canada’s own Ryan Ford. Considered one of the top Canadian welterweights, with a record 21-4 Ford has been riding high off a six-fight winning streak. Entering into this much-anticipated fight on October 11 emanating from his hometown this will undoubtedly be the biggest fight of Ford’s career which he looks to come out victorious with a win over the American Jiu-jitsu legend. Although alert of his opponent’s attributes and impressive pedigree Shields isn’t fazed by it in the slightest as look to use his experience to be the decisive factor for giving him the victory making it known to the other fighters in the division that he has arrived. Whatever the future holds in his standing in the division one thing is clear; WSOF has added a great addition to their team which allows Jake Shields to continue to build an already storied fight legacy and once again showcase his talents as one of the best fighters in the world.