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Tag: Jake Shields

Chopped: Seven of the Most Surprising UFC Cuts in Recent Memory


(Photo via Getty. Depression via reality.)

The news that Jake Shields had been axed by the UFC on Tuesday was not taken lightly by MMA fans who had referred to the former Strikeforce champion as “Jake Shieldzzzz” for years prior. Days later, we are still trying to make sense of the decision to cut Shields following his first loss in two and a half years, but it was an easy one to make in the eyes of Dana White, who basically told reporters that Shields was released because he didn’t “WAR!!” enough.

As several publications have noted, the firing of Shields has once again highlighted the UFC’s ever-burgeoning “entertainment over sport” mindset when it comes to the legitimacy of their product. It’s the reason guys like Leonard Garcia and Dan Hardy remained with the promotion after two, three, four losses in a row and why Ben Askren was never even given a shot in the first place despite being a top 10 welterweight on damn near everybody’s list. Where just a few years ago, the Tank Abbotts of the world were ridiculed for their one-dimensional, bar brawler-esque approach to MMA, they are now being praised for their ability to entertain and absorb punishment over actually win a fight.

MMA is a sport. The UFC is a spectacle. White’s belief that Gina Carano would deserve an immediate title shot should she sign with the promotion is proof of this. The signing of Brock Lesnar after one fight is proof of this. James Toney is proof of this. We are living in an era of the UFC where the “Just Bleed” guy has risen from psychotic fanboy to upper management, and unfortunately, the firing of Jake Shields was not the first of its kind…

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And Now He’s Fired: Jake Shields Cut by UFC Following Loss to Hector Lombard


(Jake’s drowsy-teenager defense was no match for the hard-hitting Cuban. / Photo via Getty)

Jake Shields’s decision loss to Hector Lombard last month at UFC 171 was his first defeat in two-and-a-half-years — and yet, it was enough of a justification for the UFC to cut him from the promotion. Shields’s manager Lex McMahon confirmed the firing with MMAFighting.com this morning, putting out the following statement:

Jake Shields has been released by the UFC. Jake appreciates the opportunities provided by the UFC and thanks Dana White and Lorenzo Fertita. Jake is an elite athlete who is one of the best welterweight fighters in the world with a long history of winning at a championship level. Jake and our team are already exploring options. I’m confident that Jake will have a new promotion to call home very soon. Jake thanks his fans for their support and looks forward to competing for them again soon.

Not since Jon Fitch have we been this shocked and outraged over the firing of a fighter who we didn’t really care for in the first place. Shields was coming into the Lombard match on a two-fight win streak, with split-decision victories over Demian Maia and Tyron Woodley. And he would have been riding a four-fight win streak if not for the mysterious no-contest he caught after winning a decision against Ed Herman in a middleweight bout at UFC 150, then failing his drug test.

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UFC 171 Results: Why Are We Talking About Everyone BUT Johny Hendricks?


(Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

At UFC 171, Johny Hendricks decisioned Robbie Lawler
in one of the greatest fights in recent memory. The two men traded punches, bled, and even smiled during their 25-minute brawl that saw Hendricks leave Dallas as the UFC welterweight champion…but nobody really cares about that.

The “morning after” discourse isn’t about Hendricks overcoming a perilous weight cut or about the implications of Hendricks being the first champ of the post-GSP era. It’s about two stars of a bygone era—Nick Diaz and Georges St-Pierre.

Nick Diaz stole some of the press at the weigh ins, heckling Hendricks for being a pound and a half heavy. That stunt soon snowballed into something more. At an unofficial media scrum, Diaz proclaimed that he was in fighting shape. In an interview with SportsNet, Diaz elucidated his presence in Dallas.

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UFC 171 Results: Johny Hendricks Becomes New Welterweight Champion With Unanimous Decision Win Over Robbie Lawler


(I have nothing funny to say about this stare-down, so instead I’ll just link you to a half-assed photoshop of Dana White wearing Johny Hendricks’s beard. / Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting)

UFC 171: Hendricks vs. Lawler is underway at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, and we admit it — we had a hard time getting it up for this one. Yesterday’s weigh-in drama was more compelling to us than any other storyline related to tonight’s fights. Maybe that’s a byproduct of event over-saturation and viewer fatigue. Maybe we never really liked MMA, and we were actually just in love with Georges St-Pierre this whole time. That’s certainly possible.

Anyway, that doesn’t mean UFC 171 won’t be fun to watch, because honestly, this is a talent-rich card with some very competitive match-ups. In the main event, Johny Hendricks and (incredibly) Robbie Lawler will fight for the UFC’s vacant welterweight title, while a quartet of other 170-pounders (Condit, Woodley, Shields, Lombard) jockey for their place in the divisional pecking order. Plus: The always-entertaining Diego Sanchez will shed some more brain cells in a scrap with the undefeated Myles Jury.

Live UFC 171 results will be available after the jump beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook pages for extra analysis and updates. And as always, thanks for being here.

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: ‘UFC 171: Hendricks vs. Lawler’ Edition

By Dan George

Someone is getting put to sleep at UFC 171: Hendricks vs. Lawler this weekend. It’s a fact. With 26 knockouts between the main eventers alone, I will reiterate: Peoples is getting put to sleep at UFC 171. And for the first time since UFC 168, those peoples won’t be the audience (*swishes three-pointer*)

Aside from providing some prime opportunities for fans to witness a highlight reel knockout, UFC 171 is also a gambler’s paradise, so join us after the jump for a look at all the UFC 171 betting lines (courtesy of BestFightOdds) and our time-tested advice.

Stay the Hell Away From:

Raquel Pennington (+220) vs. Jessica Andrade (-280)

Andrade as a -280 with a loss to Liz Carmouche and a decision win against 36 year old veteran Rosi Sexton inside the Octagon is rather steep. Jessica may be the better fighter on paper, but it is hard to gauge the improvements made by Raquel since her decision victory over Roxanne Modafferi. Dana had implored Raquel to “let your hands go” during the TUF 18 season, seemingly underlining unrealised potential in the 25 year old Colorado Springs native. Will Raquel come out striking and use her size advantage to control Jessica, or will Andrade find a way to push the ground attack and control the fight on the mat? Too hard to tell from here, best to pass over and simply enjoy.

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UFC 171 Tweet-Sized Stats: 26 Surprising Facts for Hendricks vs. Lawler


(Fan-made poster by Frank G.)

By Reed Kuhn

Note: Reed’s book ‘Fightnomics’ is available now on Amazon (in Kindle and paperback versions), featuring 336 pages of statistical analysis on UFC fighters and the “hidden science” behind their fights. If you’ve been a fan of his Databomb columns on CagePotato, pick up a copy today.

With UFC 171: Hendricks vs. Lawler coming up this Saturday, I decided to put together another batch of interesting facts and stats about the event, all of which fit inside Twitter’s 140-character limit. Feel free to tweet ‘em out yourself during the event, and let us know which ones surprised you the most. (And of course, follow @cagepotatomma and @fightnomics if you’re not doing so already.) Let’s begin…

The Good

7 of the Top 15 ranked @ufc welterweights are competing at #UFC171. That includes numbers 1, 2, 3, 6, 11, 12, & 14. Post GSP-era starts now.

Welterweight sluggers at #UFC171: punch for punch @TWooodley has the highest WW Knockdown Rate-13%. Lawler-10%, Lombard/Hendricks-6%. Ave=4%

Myles Jury has the best head striking defense at #UFC171. He makes opponents miss 93% of the time. Next best is Tyron Woodley at 80%.

Alex Garcia’s UFC debut lasted just 43 seconds. He landed 9 total strikes, dropped his opponent and won by KO. He opens FS2 #UFC171 prelims

Best Takedown Defense at #UFC171 goes to Tyron Woodley-94%, Dennis Bermudez-89%, Hector Lombard-79%

Highest paced striker at #UFC171 is Jake Shields. He averages 17 strikes per minute while standing, and outworks opponents by 75%
[Ed. note: WTF???]

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The Nine Most Disappointing Debuts in UFC History


(Photo via Getty)

By Adam Martin

Tomorrow night in Georgia, former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold returns to the Octagon for the first time since having his face kicked into space by Vitor Belfort at UFC on FX 8 last May. Although Belfort was coming off a blistering head kick KO of Michael Bisping at UFC on FX 7, many were still picking and betting on Rockhold to defeat “The Phenom” in his UFC debut, and the betting line surprisingly closed as a pick ‘em.

Things didn’t go Rockhold’s way that night, to say the least. In hindsight it’s not such a bad loss considering what Belfort did to iron-chinned Dan Henderson in his next bout, but it was still incredibly disappointing for the highly-touted Californian to be knocked out in less than five minutes when — on paper at least — the fight with Belfort should have been much more competitive.

Of course, Rockhold isn’t the first UFC fighter who fell short of expectations in his Octagon debut. The question is, will he rebound in his second fight, or fall deeper into “bust” territory? Read on for our list of eight other fighters who didn’t live up to the hype in their first UFC appearances, and let us know if we’ve left out any notable disappointments.

Ben Rothwell

(Photo via Getty)

After the IFL collapsed, the promotion’s former heavyweight champion Ben Rothwell made his way over to the UFC and debuted against fast-rising contender Cain Velasquez at UFC 104. Although Rothwell’s aura of invincibility had been cracked by Andrei Arlovski’s limbs at Affliction: Banned the previous summer, there was still hope that he could get back to his winning ways and make a run for the UFC heavyweight title.

But against Velasquez, it was clear that Rothwell was thoroughly outclassed by a far superior mixed martial artist, and “Big Ben” suffered the second true knockout loss of his career. In hindsight, it’s not surprising that Rothwell couldn’t hang with Velasquez, the current UFC heavyweight champion, but at the time it was a harsh reality check for those hardcore MMA fans who believed in Rothwell after his IFL run.

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Jake Shields (Zzzz) vs. Hector Lombard (!!) Added to UFC 171


(“For the last time, I’m not Charlie Brenneman and I don’t have any weed for sale.”)

This morning, the UFC announced (via ESPN.com) that a welterweight contest between former title challenger Jake Shields and former Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard has been booked for UFC 171: Jones vs. Teixeira. While we assumed that this matchup was just Dana White’s way of further punishing anyone and anything related to Bellator, it turns out that “Lightning” actually requested the matchup because, like the rest of us, he finds Shield’s style somewhat underwhelming:

I think he’s been so boring and me always trying for the KO, it’s going to be exciting. He’ll make it boring, or I’m going to end up knocking him out. It’s going to be one or another. 

You’d think that Lombard would have already learned his lesson about calling out “boring” fighters after he fought the Jake Shields of the UFC’s middleweight division and came up short, but it appears otherwise. Let’s hope Lombard can bring the same kind of ferocity against Shields as he brought against Nate Marquardt or we’re gonna be in for a long night, folks.

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Amazingly, Every Fighter at ‘UFC Fight Night 29′ Managed to Pass His Drug Test


(In retrospect, maybe these guys could have *used* a little steroids. / Photo via Getty)

On the main card alone, last week’s UFC Fight Night 29 event featured a guy who previously pissed dirty for steroids (Joey Beltran), a fake-urine submitting pot smoker (Thiago Silva), one of the UFC’s many “elevated testosterone” violators (Rousimar Palhares), and a guy who failed a drug test for undisclosed reasons, so we’re just going to assume it was weed (Jake Shields). We’ve been waiting for the card’s drug test results with baited breath, and to our surprise, it looks like everybody’s in the clear. As MMAFighting reports:

All 20 UFC Fight Night 29 fighters passed their drug tests. Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA) tested every fighter before their bouts on Oct. 9 in Barueri, Brazil. After the bouts, the headliners – Demian Maia and Jake Shields – were tested again, in addition to four other randomly selected fighters…all results came back negative.”

This is especially good news for Thiago Silva, who has had two of his last four UFC wins knocked down to no-contests, and is now riding his first legitimate win streak since 2007-2008. Of course, Silva missed weight by three pounds for his UFC Fight Night 29 bout against Matt Hamill, so I guess we should put an asterisk next to that win as well, but still, it’s progress.

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UFC Fight Night 29 Aftermath: Shields Edges Out Maia, Palhares and Kim Score Brutal Victories



(Kim vs. Silva: The moment of impact, and the aftermath. / Photos via Getty)

I wouldn’t call yesterday’s UFC Fight Night event a great card, necessarily — the headlining bout was predictably slow, and the main card broadcast dragged in the middle thanks to the light-heavyweights. Still, there were enough violent, surprising, and awful moments at UFC Fight Night 29 to make it worth discussing. So let’s talk about the interesting stuff first, and work our way down to the crap.

Rousimar Palhares may look a little different at welterweight*, but his gameplan hasn’t changed one iota. From the opening bell, Palhares aggressively dove for the legs of Mike Pierce, in an attempt to sink one of his infamous leg-locks. It worked…maybe a little too well. In just 31 seconds, an agonized Mike Pierce was tapping from a heel-hook. As is custom in MMA, the winning fighter is supposed to release his grip and jump up on the cage to do some flexing. But not Rousimar. As he’s done so many times before, Palhares continued to hold the submission for a moment after the referee intervened — which must have seemed like an eternity to poor Mike Pierce.

Rousimar’s heel-hook was the only submission on the card, and would be worthy of a $50,000 Submission of the Night bonus even if there were other subs to compete with. Instead, the UFC decided to withhold the SOTN bonus due to Palhares’s “unsportsmanlike conduct,” and UFC President Dana White claimed that Palhares would receive an additional punishment for his actions. Palhares previously received a 90-day slap on the wrist** for holding a heel-hook against Tomasz Drwal at UFC 111. Maybe the next punishment will be severe enough for him to actually pay attention.

* By the way, when Palhares showed up in the cage, he almost looked like the old Palhares again. Ah, the miracle of rehydration.

** Allegedly.

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