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Guest Column: One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure

("So long, losers!" / Photo courtesy of

By CagePotato Comment-Section "Godfatehre" [sic] Old, Bald and Irish

I was recently greeted with the news that Strikeforce would not only be releasing current Middleweight Champion Jake Shields (25-4-1), but they are not even going to bother negotiating with him or making counter-offers.


This latest thumb-in-the-eye just adds to the disrespectful treatment that Shields has received at the hands of Coker and Company. Since when does a committed professional fighter who is a former Rumble on the Rock champ, SHOOTO Middleweight champ, EliteXC’s first and only welterweight champ, who just happens to be on a 14 fight win streak, become an unwanted commodity?

We all saw the CBS ads for Strikeforce: Nashville. You know, the flashy ones showing DAN HENDERSON punching! DAN HENDERSON kicking a bag! DAN HENDERSON standing there, making no expression, yet at the same time, being a living legend! And he’s gonna fight outside of the UFC! And it’s for the CHAMPIONSHIP BELT! Yeah, bitch…that’s right! And he’s gonna fight some guy! Some "Shileds" fella….but we don’t have time to talk about him because we just spent all the time in this commercial talking about how wickedly awesome DAN HENDERSON is!

If you were Jake Shields, how could you not feel insulted?

Stikeforce set up big, tough fights for Jake right off the bat. Shields has always maintained that he wanted to fight the best and he’s taken on all comers — Robbie Lawler, Jason Miller, and especially Henderson. He’s always stepped up and put on a good show. He’s been extremely reliable and has managed to stay healthy, except for a few months when he was with EliteXC recovering from an injury that prevented him from crushing Drew Fickett into a pile of fermented goo.

So where’s the love?

We all knew that Shields was heading for the UFC. It didn’t take a lip-reader watching Dana White mouth "HE’S MINE!" at a WEC event to figure it out. Jake was ready for the UFC 18 months ago, and White has been openly eager to get him. So why was Strikeforce so ready to let him go? What does the UFC see that Strikeforce doesn’t?

My guess could be summed up in one word: marketability.

One thing that the now defunct EliteXC did well was to market their fighters. Whether you love him or hate him, face it — you know the Kimbo Slice story.

The scrappy high school star middle linebacker who had professional football aspirations until Hurricane Andrew laid waste to his home and forced him to live out of a truck. Bouncing at nightclubs and bodyguarding for the porn industry paid the bills. But Slice became an internet sensation crushing cans in unsanctioned street fights that got zillions of hits on YouTube. The next thing you know, he taps out Ray Mercer, pummels Tank Abbot and makes Bo Cantrell tap out from strikes before he hits the canvas. Going into his fight against James Thompson, which headlined the first-ever MMA event on prime-time national television, he was arguably one of the worlds most well-known mixed martial artists.

Regardless of the controversial outcome of his fight against "Gong-and-Dash" and the career altering defeat at the hands of Seth "I’m NOT gay!" Petruzelli, Slice is still one of the most well-known fighters in MMA.

….and you can chalk that up to marketing a compelling story. In the world of MMA, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Or in Kimbo’s case, the bread.

So with that bit of history to glean from, let’s take a look at Jake Shields. So what’s Jake’s story? What have we learned about this young fighter’s history? Well, according to Strikeforce, Jake is from Cali, he can wrestle and he knows that "Iceman" guy on TUF.

….oh….wait….that last part I learned from Spike TV.

And that’s the point. What is Shields’s back story? I’m not looking for TMZ tidbits, but seriously! Where does this guy come from? Can Strikeforce tell me anything?

Apparently not. Either through laziness or ignorance, Strikeforce has decided to let the fruit rot on the vine.

You may ask "So what’s so great about Shields?" A fair question. Again, I answer it with one word: marketability. And here’s his story:

Jake’s a committed fighter who’s "easy on the eyes" (a rarity for MMA fighters), a single Dad on a winning streak doing everything he can to put a meal on the table for his adorable and loving daughter. That’s just one freakin’ line. Think the UFC can do better with a guy like this? 

Ever heard Houston Alexander‘s story? Suffering the horrific personal loss of his wife, leaving him a single Dad with multiple children, every time Houston steps into the ring, it’s for his family!

Where did I hear this? Why, from the UFC, of course.

First off, God bless Houston and his family. I use him as an example, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that he is a tremendous family man and father. But let’s face it; the UFC certainly didn’t shy away from Alexander’s compelling storyline. Creepy or not, it connects fans to fighters on a human level.

And now with Shields under their wing? Fuhgedaboutit. The UFC know how to market fighters. Shields looks good, he can fight, he’s a proven winner. Mark my words: He’s the next Rich Franklin.

Oh yeah! Rich Franklin! You know his story, right? You know what his former occupation was? How he got his nickname? Of course you do. It’s called "marketing"!

Strikeforce certainly had a golden opportunity with Jake. But instead of building from within, they saw their fortunes on the outside. While I was happy to see the acquisitions of Hendo and Fedor to the Strikforce roster, I’m disappointed to see these victories at the cost of one of their most valiant foot soldiers. Coker is foolish to think that Melendez, Diaz, Le, Smith, Lawler and Rogers are not taking note of how their promotion is treating one of their champions — and how the UFC will treat their new treasure.

Cagepotato Comments

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ccman- July 7, 2010 at 11:46 pm
It is official.

Gracie bjj is dead and the 'masters' are loons. Diaz? K
Melendez the best, k
Sheilds top 5? Cough,whatever.
Bastila natural screams consenco 'gimme press'
MyFightWiffaCheeto- July 7, 2010 at 6:55 pm
Ascerendant- July 7, 2010 at 2:57 pm
Jake Shields is so boring, Clay Guida can't go more than one round watching his fights

Jake Shields is so boring, Michael Schiavello says "It's good night Ireene" when they touch gloves

Jake Shields is so boring, he makes Frank Shamrock forget to mention that "he's been around since this whole thing started"

Jake Shields is so boring, a tape of his highlight-reel was the most successful submission at the 2009 ADCC Championships.

Jake Shields is so boring, M1 Global wouldn't want to co-promote him.

Jake Shields is so boring, even Dan Henderson slept on him (this one may take a second to take full get it now, don't you!)
justscrappin- July 7, 2010 at 10:52 am
Bill Brasky.....I loved when you raped shamoo(sp?)...but let's not get off topic

Jake Shields is so boring he has cohosted antiques roadshow.
Jake Shields is so boring..he is sponsored by the dmv.
Jake Shields is so boring...his fights are on tape.
Jake Shields fights are so boring...he makes blind people smile.
Jake Shields is so boring that crystal meth doesn't work on him.
and last but not least
Jake Shields is so boring, that Brett Michaels has stopped asking for someone to give him something to believe in.
Bill Brasky- July 7, 2010 at 4:16 am
Can we all agree that Seth "Man Seed in the Belly" Petruzelli is gay as fuck?
Dick_Gozenya- July 7, 2010 at 2:52 am
OK... relatively exceedingly entertaining. I got a big ass bag of weed, (relatively big ass (it's not a duffle bag or car trunk)) so everything is relatively exceedingly entertaining.

Dick_Gozenya- July 7, 2010 at 2:05 am
Jake Shields is so boring...

... the Pope is actually reciting his wikipedia page in Latin at Easter Mass.

Jake Shields fights are so boring...

... that making fun of them can be exceedingly entertaining!
ghostboner- July 7, 2010 at 1:40 am
Jake shields fights are so boring Shane Carwin is dropping Nighttime Nyquil for his sponsor and getting Shields' Fights.

Jake Shields fights are so boring they play CSpan over the commentary and no one notices.

Jake Shields fights are so boring that Thales Leites is not impressed.

Jake Shields fights are so boring that he is being sued by Ambien.

Jake Shields fights are so boring that Scott Coker fired his ass even though he holds the belt.
ghostboner- July 7, 2010 at 1:33 am
Jake Shields fights are so boring they won't even show them on CBS
fatbellyfrank- July 7, 2010 at 1:25 am
Jake Shields fights are so boring.......
......Most discerning MMA fans prefer Cagney& Lacey reruns
fatbellyfrank- July 7, 2010 at 1:23 am
Jake Shields fights are so boring.......
......People would rather watch Gus Johnson apply his make up
Dick_Gozenya- July 7, 2010 at 1:12 am
Jake Shields is so boring...

... they show his fights to terminally ill child leukemia patients to help them come to peace with their fate.
Dick_Gozenya- July 7, 2010 at 1:10 am
Jake Shields fights are so gay...

... Dana whacks off to them when he runs out of TUF house shower-cam footage.
2DaDeath- July 7, 2010 at 1:07 am
Jake Shields is so boring...

That Ben copy & pasted something someone once wrote in the comments section, because he wouldn't waste his own time writing about Jake Shields.
mt59801- July 7, 2010 at 12:18 am
sheilds is so boring
William Shatner should replace goldy & rogan in the booth every time he fights
Almost North- July 6, 2010 at 10:59 pm
Jake Shields is so boring...

He is still reading this post.
fatbellyfrank- July 6, 2010 at 10:36 pm
I am so boring.......
I waste everyone's time posting gibberish on this site
fatbellyfrank- July 6, 2010 at 10:35 pm
Jake Sheilds os so boring.....
2DaDeath- July 6, 2010 at 10:28 pm
OBI is so boring...

he has a giant porn collection.
ghostboner- July 6, 2010 at 10:10 pm
Also, OBI when are you gonna die? Remember you owe me a porn collection.

And while I'm at it...
Jake Shields is so boring that during his fights his coaches start calling out advice to his opponent.
ghostboner- July 6, 2010 at 9:46 pm
@C Skillz Pyoop pulls - Dammmmmm you I was hoping I could fly under the radar on this one! Ah well fuck me right in my goat ass. Hey, "This is Amurrica", I can nuut swing on one dude and hate his twin and I don't need a good reason ok? You got me.

But you Almost North did not. I said the Hendo fight OR any fight, so you can just take that clever impossible future fight footage scenario and... Well It was pretty funny. But not as good as the Diaz bros acid comment!
shitwhistle- July 6, 2010 at 9:19 pm
OBI is a guest columnist now? Fowlkes is gonna shit...
Chiggs- July 6, 2010 at 9:03 pm
Their not the only ones
Almost North- July 6, 2010 at 8:36 pm
Jake Shields is so boring...

The Diaz brothers switch from pot to acid when they have to watch his fights.
jimbonics- July 6, 2010 at 8:30 pm
Jake Shields is so boring...

...Dan Henderson fell asleep after the first round of their title fight.