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Tag: Jake Shields

Jake Shields: Ready for Primetime


By CagePotato Guest Contributor Brian Knapp

Victory rang hollow for Jake Shields on the night of November 10th, 2007. He needed only 3:39 to attach himself to Mike Pyle’s back and secure a fight-ending rear naked choke at EliteXC “Renegade” in Corpus Christi, Texas. It was supposed to be his crowning achievement, the win that would bring him his first major championship. Pyle had other ideas.

Plans for what was originally intended to be a welterweight title fight unraveled after Pyle, disgruntled with his treatment by EliteXC, turned down a contract extension with the fledgling promotion. As Shields stood in the center of the cage, his hand raised for the ninth time in as many matches, he could not escape the anger growing within him.

“I’m not going to hold it against [Pyle], but I was very irritated,” Shields says. “It cost me the title. I’m sure he had his reasons, but it seems like a stupid decision. It would have been a lot smarter for him to fight for the title and lose and to stay on good terms with EliteXC. Now where’s he fighting?”

A little more than four months later, Shields finally gets his crack at the EliteXC welterweight championship — a title most agree should already be fastened around his waist. The 29-year-old Californian will lock horns with UFC veteran Drew Fickett in one of three featured bouts at Strikeforce/EliteXC “Shamrock vs. Le,” which goes down this Saturday at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA. Shields understands a loss there would undo much of what he has accomplished during the past eight years.

“It’s a very important fight,” he says. “I’m on a huge winning streak, won nine in a row, and this is a title fight. I need to keep it going, and keep things on an upward swing.”

Conquering Fickett will be no easy task. An accomplished grappler in his own right, Fickett (31-5) last competed in December, when he submitted veteran Mark Weir with a rear naked choke at Cage Rage 24. Wins against one-time World Extreme Cagefighting welterweight title challenger Carlo Prater, current UFC lightweight contender Kenny Florian and Dennis Hallman anchor his resume. Fickett has delivered 20 of his 31 victories by submission, including a 2005 conquest of Josh Koscheck.

Shields realizes he has his hands full with the Arizonan.


King of San Jose: The Conference Call


JarryPark has the technical-difficulty-ridden audio to today’s EliteXC/Strikeforce conference call, where Frank Shamrock and Cung Le pumped up their battle on March 29th; Gary Shaw, Jake Shields, and Drew Fickett were also in tele-attendance. Some highlights:

— Shaw predicts the live gate to exceed $1 million.

— Frank: “Like most people, [Cung's] afraid to go to the ground with me.”

— Shaw on not pursuing the Randy/Fedor fight for EliteXC: “I do not tortiously interfere with anybody’s contract or any fighter. I respect the fighter, I respect the contract, and believe it or not I respect the UFC. I have had talks with Fedor, I don’t deny that, but I have not approached Randy Couture, and I can’t approach Randy until I know that he’s out of everything with the UFC. But I’d be thrilled to put it on…I’d sign it in less than a heartbeat.”

— Frank on a fight with Tito Ortiz: “I think it’s a great idea…there’s a lot of strength and brand value in some of these old-timers like myself, Tito, guys like Ken. I’ve been talking to Tito about it and we’re trying to work it out. Hopefully it’ll come to fruition ten years after I last whupped him. I beat him on striking last time when my striking was really terrible. Now my striking is ten years more advanced and my conditioning is even better. I just think I would destroy him, but it would still be a great money fight and a great story.”

— Shaw: “The biggest belt I wear is the one around my fat waist. On a serious note…”

— Frank: “To me it’s about how big we can make a promotion, how much attention we can draw to it…I’d rather fight a guy like Phil Baroni who can sell a match like nobody else in the world — and who can take a beating like nobody else in the world — than a champion who can’t put two sentences together and who doesn’t draw big crowds.”

— Frank on bro Ken’s last loss: “I was pretty disappointed in his performance. I don’t know if he’s still got the heart of a lion in him…I know Ken’s skill level, and I just think he’s having trouble connecting his desire with his mind and his body, and putting all that together to be an exciting fighter.”

— Shaw: “On a serious note, [Ken] was sick that night. He got some type of stomach ailment so he didn’t go into the cage 100%, but he absolutely told me he’s still got enough left to take your ass.” [Frank laughs] “Alright, you’re laughin’.”

Also: Tomorrow, EliteXC will make an announcement regarding the fights on their first CBS card. Stay tuned.


Jake Shields Earns Black Belt, Is Savagely Pinkbellied

EliteXC’s welterweight top-dog Jake Shields was awarded his BJJ black belt yesterday by Cesar Gracie at Team Fairtex Gym in San Francisco. Nick Diaz, Gilbert Melendez and others were on hand to congratulate him the only way they know how. Hmm…I assumed this moment would be a little more dignified. Anyway, big ups to Shields, who faces UFC vet Drew Fickett at the March 29th Strikeforce/EliteXC show headlined by Frank Shamrock/Cung Le.

(Video courtesy of Sherdog)


Jake Shields Wants Frank Shamrock

(It’s all about the hair.)

The TAGG Radio Network did an interview with Jake Shields this week, where the EliteXC welterweight made some pretty bold statements. Shields is certainly one of the most exciting up-and-coming fighters in action today and soon he just might add a 170-pound title to go with his impressive 20-4-1 record. Shields faces former UFC-er Drew Fickett and his 31-5 record on March 29th at the Strikeforce/EliteXC event.

Remember that whole “one game at a time” shit that coaches are always preaching to their players so they won’t overlook their current opponent? Apparently Jake Shields doesn’t buy into that. And the fighter he has his eye on happens to be one of the legends in the sport: Frank Shamrock.

Shamrock is headlining the March 29th event and will put his Strikeforce middleweight title on the line against Cung Le.

TAGG provided the following for MMA Junkie:

“I would do that tomorrow,” Shields said regarding the match-up with Shamrock. “In fact, when there was that whole Baroni thing going on, I actually got a phone call asking me if Baroni didn’t come through would I be willing to take that fight. It was about four days before the fight, and I said I would take it… I was willing to step up on four days’ notice and fight him.”

The report says Shamrock would possibly be interested in the fight, but would want Jake to go up to middleweight. Shields says, “Fine, Bee-otches!” – in so many words.


Fight of the Day: Jake Shields vs. Renato Verissimo

In honor of Jake Shields’s upcoming title shot, we’d like to present his first EliteXC fight, which went down at EliteXC: Uprising on 9/15/07 against Renato Verissimo. After the announcer kicks things off with the most unexpected Reginald Kenneth Dwight reference we’ve ever heard, the fight goes to to the ground quickly, where Shields methodically works for the full mount. Unfortunately for Verissimo, Mario “Painfully Late Stoppage” Yamasaki is reffing the match…


Shields, Fickett Will Fight for EliteXC’s First Welterweight Title

(Jake Shields, workin’ them pads.)

It was confirmed today that the March 29th EliteXC/Strikeforce event featuring Frank Shamrock’s fight against Cung Le will also host another high-profile match — Jake Shields and Drew Fickett will meet to decide EliteXC’s first-ever welterweight championship. Ranked #6 on our list of the top 10 welterweights in the world, Jake Shields is a former Shooto welterweight champ who has defeated the likes of Yushin Okami and Carlos Condit during his current nine-fight win streak; his last two fights were for EliteXC, and resulted in first-round wins by stoppage. Drew Fickett is a veteran of Rage in the Cage and the UFC, and complied a 4-2 record in the Octagon including a win over Josh Koscheck. Fickett has never fought for EliteXC before, but he’s won his last three matches since losing to Karo Parisyan by decision at UFC Fight Night 7 in December 2006.

The welterweight championship will be the third divisional belt awarded by EliteXC since its inaugural event in February of last year. The organization crowned Murilo “Ninja” Rua its first middleweight champ on 6/22/07 with his defeat of Joey Villasenor, but Robbie Lawler took the title three months later with his TKO of Rua at EliteXC: Uprising. KJ Noons became EliteXC’s first lightweight champion at the “Renegade” event on 11/10/07 when Nick Diaz’s eyelids tore apart and the fight had to be stopped. We’ll make a wild projection here and say that Jake Shields will be joining their ranks in March — and for the record, we’re fairly certain that Frank Shamrock will use his enormous ground-fighting advantage to put away Cung Le and retain his Strikeforce middleweight belt in the show’s main event.