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Tag: Jake Shields

Moving Up In Weight: The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly


(Overeem, before adding horse-meat and anti-inflammatory meds to his diet.)

By Josh Hutchinson

Whether it’s Jon Jones wanting to move up to heavyweight, or everyone wanting Frankie Edgar to cut to 145, weight-class-shifting is a hot topic for MMA fans and pundits alike. And while we’ve recently covered the perils and benefits of dropping to a lower weight class, the same can be said for moving up in weight. After jumping to heavier divisions, some fighters’ proverbial stars have shined brighter, some have dimmed, and some have gone God-damn-supernova — and it’s never easy to predict which fighters will have success. Check out some notable examples below, and tell us which other fighters you think would do well with some extra meat on their bones.

The Good

Alistair Overeem

(Same guy as above, same backdrop, and yet something is different…)

All insinuations aside, Overeem is a prime example of success at moving up a weight class. As I previously mentioned, Overeem has gone 12-1-1 since making a full commitment to heavyweight, and while the quality of opponents he faced was often questionable, that is still a hell of a good run. If you take a look back at his time at light-heavyweight, the stats are not nearly as impressive. Overeem’s losses usually came at the hands of the light-heavyweight division’s top guys, like Chuck Liddell, Antônio Rogério Nogueira, and Ricardo Arona. His run at light-heavyweight showed that he couldn’t hang with the elites of the respective weight class, and was vulnerable to being manhandled by stronger opponents.

After doing whatever it is he did to bulk up, he turned his fortunes around and achieved the greatest stardom of his career, becoming the poster child for successful jumps up the weight-class ladder. If it wasn’t for some bad decision-making, he would be fighting for the sport’s highest prize this weekend. Here’s to hoping he gets his shit together soon.

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Jake Shields Officially Returns to Middleweight, Faces Ed Herman at UFC 150


(That’ll teach Antonio Banuelos to try and fingerbang Ronda Rousey.) 

After compiling a 2-2 octagon record at welterweight (well, 1-3 depending on how you personally scored the Martin Kampmann fight), it looks like former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields will be returning to 185 this summer, and will be taking on the resurgent Ed Herman at UFC 150, which goes down on August 11th from the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. UFC President Dana White was the first to break the news, via his Twitter:

UFC 150 Sat Aug 11 Denver, CO Middleweight Bout Ed Herman VS Jake Shields. I like that fight!

Shields is coming off a unanimous decision victory over the struggling Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 144 in February. Although he was able to walk away with the victory and snap a two-fight losing streak in the process, he did find himself on the wrong end of more than one fantastic Judo throw. So you tell us who the real winner was…

…still Shields? Fine, let’s move on.

TUF 3 runner-up Ed Herman, on the other hand, has looked pretty spectacular as of late, and will be looking to build upon a current three-fight win streak that includes wins over scrappy TUF 7 veteran Tim Credeur and TUF 11 alum Kyle Noke. Is it just us, or does it seem like nearly everyone in the UFC can be tied back to The Ultimate Fighter at some point in their career? It’s like the Kevin Bacon of MMA these days. Anyway, Shields should be a considerable favorite coming into this one, but given Herman’s growing trajectory, as well as Shields’ rather mediocre performances in the octagon thus far, “Short Fuse” could be a solid pick for you gamblers, who should already be rolling in the green if you followed our advice.

And in other fight booking, or rather, fight shuffling news…

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Jake Shields Heading Back Up to Middleweight, Plans on Late-Summer Return


(Damn. We had completely repressed this memory.)

As confirmed on last night’s episode of UFC Tonight, Jake Shields will be returning to middleweight for his next fight, and will make his Octagon debut as a 185′er in the late summer. According to the report, Shields feels healthier at the higher weight and plans to add muscle to his frame during the transition. Making 170 has been a struggle for Shields in the past, and the difficulty of the welterweight cut was a factor in the decision.

As a UFC welterweight contender, Shields has somewhat fallen short of expectations. His four appearances have resulted in a 2-2 stretch highlighted by an anemic split-decision win over Martin Kampmann, a failed title-challenge against Georges St. Pierre, and a 53-second knockout loss against Jake Ellenberger. Most recently, Shields won a unanimous decision against Yoshihiro Akiyama, who was making his welterweight debut that night.

During his brief stint as a middleweight in Strikeforce, Shields won the promotion’s vacant middleweight title by out-pointing Jason Miller, then defended his belt in a stunning comeback against Dan Henderson. Will Shields be able to recapture some of that old magic in the UFC’s middleweight ranks? And who would you like to see him fight first? We know one guy who’s still waiting for his rematch, buddy

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GIFs of the Day: Akiyama Even Makes Takedowns Look Sexy


(“I make this look good.”)

Sure, he didn’t win his UFC 144 bout with Jake Shields, but that didn’t mean Yoshihiro Akiyama went down without a sexy fight.

Although he wasn’t able to capitalize on the positions he created with his superior judo throws, “Sexyama” made the normally sedate Japanese crowd “ahhhh” in unison with these two tosses.

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UFC 144 Aftermath Part Two: Barbarians in Beast Mode


(Props: Getty Images/UFC.com)

Admit it: When Mark Hunt first caught Cheick Kongo with a counter left, you were excited. When Hunt chased Kongo down and dropped him with a series of fight-ending straight rights, you cheered. No matter how much money you bet on Kongo to win, you couldn’t help but buy into the feel-good story that has been Mark Hunt’s UFC run. To see the same Mark Hunt who only earned a shot in the UFC due to the PRIDE buyout- the guy who Dana White offered to pay to just walk away from the UFC before being submitted by Sean McCorkle- thoroughly outclass one of the heavyweight division’s best kickboxers is a testament to his newfound dedication to the sport. The fact that he’s thirty seven years old only makes it all the more remarkable.

Mark Hunt improves to 8-7, marking the first time he’s had a winning record in the sport since his record was 5-4 in 2008. Although his hopes for either a title shot or a fight on next week’s Australia card are both pretty optimistic (to put it mildly), Hunt clearly demonstrated that he’s ready for stiffer competition. As for Cheick Kongo, this loss shouldn’t hurt his standing with the UFC- he was already a gatekeeper to begin with. We already knew that he wasn’t a serious contender for the heavyweight championship- the way he was outclassed by Mark Hunt’s striking and his inability to get Hunt on the ground proved it.

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‘UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson’ Main Card — Live Results & Commentary


(They’re both dangerous on the mat and on their feet. They’re both impossible to finish. But hell will freeze over before they both wear suits on the same day. / Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle. For more photos from this gallery, click here.)

Konichiwa, bitches, and welcome to our liveblog presentation of the UFC 144 pay-per-view card. We’ve got seven more fights to go at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan, leading up to the headlining lightweight title bout between Frankie Edgar and Ben Henderson. Along the way, Anthony “Showtime” Pettis will try to invent a new kick against Joe Lauzon, Yoshihiro Akiyama makes his last sexy stand against Jake Shields, and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson defends his old PRIDE turf against Ryan Bader.

Handling play-by-play for this leg of our journey is Anthony Gannon, who will be throwin’ down results after the jump starting at 10 p.m. ET. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and let your voice be heard in the comments section. As was predicted in the ancient fart scrolls, this is gonna be one hell of a night.

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[VIDEO] UFC 144 Pre-Fight Press Conference

This Saturday will mark the UFC’s triumphant return to Japan for the first time in 11 years, and what a card we have in store. Aside from Frankie Edgar fighting someone not named B.J. Penn or Gray Maynard (not that we were complaining), UFC 144 also offers a light heayweight sure to be slugfest between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Ryan Bader, Yoshihiro Akiyama’s welterweight debut against Jake Shields, and Mark Hunt vs. Cheick Kongo.

The seven fight main card will be kicked off by a battle of top lightweight contenders when Joe Lauzon takes on Anthony Pettis, and the undercard features the the likes of Takanori Gomi and former K1 standout Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, each attempting to rebound from recent losses. It’s safe to say that we are in for a hell of a night, so let’s all go get Henna tattoos to celebrate this glorious milestone.

Check out the pre-fight press conference video above, which, aside from the occasional translation flub, goes off without a hitch. Just a warning: due to the fact that everything is being translated into Japanese as it is being said, it is difficult to understand the questions at hand every so often. But honestly, who gives a shit? THE UFC IS BACK IN JAPAN, BABY!!!

While we’re discussing how awesome Japan is, join us after the jump for the anime-style trailer for UFC 144, which is easily the coolest thing you will see all day, and possible ever.

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Jake Shields Doesn’t Think Nick Diaz is Done Fighting [VIDEO]


(“Tell me you aren’t going to miss this shit, bro.”)

Our friends at Kimura.se caught up with Jake Shields ahead of his UFC 144 fight with Yoshihiro Akiyama Saturday in Japan and they asked the Team Cesar Gracie fighter whether or not he thinks his teammate Nick Diaz will follow through on his plan to retire.

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Video: Countdown to UFC 144


(Video courtesy of Sapo/IronForgesIron)

If your cable provider doesn’t offer Fuel and you missed the UFC 144 countdown show last night, not to worry, we got you covered again.

It’s been a quiet week media-wise for the event, mostly because the majority of the fighters on the card and the few reporters planning on attending the show have been travelling to Japan. It seems like more focus of MMA news this week has been on the upcoming Strikeforce card, which is curious considering Saturday night’s event is a decent one.

Enjoy it. After this event and UFC: Alves vs. Kampmann on March 2, there won’t be another show until UFC: Sweden on April 14. That’s a six week stretch without a UFC show. At least our wives will be happy.

Anyway, this countdown show was a decent one. It’s interesting to hear guys like ‘Rampage’ and Akiyama talk about the difference between the North American and Japanese crowds, especially when it was like comparing apples to oranges between PRIDE and the UFC. Now we’ll finally get to see the disparity first hand.

I think I was most impressed with the level of respect Akiyama showed his opponent, Jake Shields, whom he praised for his skill level and fight smarts. It’s rare to see that in a pre-fight interview. He even found a way to make boring and conservative sound better by saying that Jake “isn’t explosive.” ’Sexyama’ could sell a Kia to a BMW enthusiast.

Check out part two after the jump.

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CagePotato Presents: The Ten Most Forgettable Fights of 2011


(Similar to Georges St.Pierre, MMA pundits, and most fans heading into UFC 129, Dana White was looking right past Jake Shields.)

2011 is approaching it’s final hour, Potato Nation, and when we typically take a look back at the year that was, we often lump things in terms of the very best, and more often than not, the very worst. But even though it has been arguably the biggest year in the sport’s History, it hasn’t gone without it’s fair share of snoozefests, sparring matches, and fights that simply didn’t live up to their own hype. For every Rua/Hendo, there was a Torres/Banuelos, so to speak, that kept us from having a full-on Chuck Liddell style freak out. It’s not that these fights made us angry, it’s just that they failed to make us feel anything.

In a way, they were actually a good thing for the sport, as they raised our appreciation for the epic slugfests, the back and forth brawls, and the technical battles to new heights. So it is for these unsung heroes that we bring you The Ten Most Forgettable Fights of 2011, presented in chronological order.

#10: Jacob Volkmann vs. Antonio Mckee

We know what you’re thinking, Potatoites, you’re thinking, “My God, it’s only been a year since this clown (dis)graced the UFC with that performance?” Well the answer is yes, and almost to the exact date. On January 1st at UFC 125, Anthony Mckee made his long awaited debut in the UFC. And when we say “long awaited,” we mean by none other than Mckee himself. You see, Anthony Mckee followed the James Toney method of trolling his way into the UFC through a shitstorm of self absorbed and ridiculous claims, despite only claiming seven finishes in his previous thirty contests. Well, DW took the bait, and threw Mckee humble wrestler and future threat to Homeland Security, Jacob Volkmann, for his big debut.

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