Shields told MMA Weekly Radio (via MMAWeekly.com):
I want to get right in that title mix. 185 is wide open and everybody’s talking about who’s next. I want to go out there and hopefully put on a great performance and get to throw my name in the mix.
Following the first and last defense of his Strikeforce middleweight belt, Shields headed to the UFC and was instantaneously thrust into the thick of things. His first bout was a welterweight title eliminator matchup against Martin Kampmann, a fight he won via split decision.
However, he would lose an eventual title tilt to reigning 170-pound champion Georges St-Pierre before going on to suffer an opening-stanza starching, courtesy of Jake Ellenberger.
Before opting to make his third jump to middleweight, Shield’s faced off against Yoshiro Akiyama. He won that matchup by way of unanimous decision.
To date, the erstwhile Strikeforce champion is 2-1 in his middleweight foray. Two of those victories came against Dan Henderson and Jason Miller. His sole loss at said weight was against Marty Armendarez, which also happened to be his third professional outing.
With that in mind, the Cesar Gracie fighter believes his triumph over the former Strikeforce 205-pound champion should at least give him some sort of latitude regarding the current middleweight picture.
You never know what counts for what, but it’s got to count for something. I’m the last guy to beat Dan Henderson and he’s fighting for the 205-pound belt, so that’s got to give me some credit at 185 and if I can go out there and win, and win in a dominant fashion, it will get people talking about me and other contenders at 185.
On that note, Shields figures there’s no clear-cut No. 1 contender to Silva’s crown.
It’s up for grabs and that’s why it’s hard to say who deserves a title shot. I don’t even know. (Chris) Weidman looked amazing versus Mark Munoz, and then you have (Michael) Bisping’s got to be close, and even though Chael Sonnen lost, considering what he did the last time, a couple more wins he could be right back in there. There’s lots of guys in the mix.
Still, the 33-year-old Californian native is pragmatic enough to comprehend a victory over Herman—who, at present, is riding a three-fight win streak—won’t automatically guarantee him an immediate tilt at the title. And as such, he’s all for locking horns with the division’s upper-echelon combatants.
I wouldn’t be next in line, but if I beat him, there’s not one particular person I want to fight, but I want one of the big contenders. A Bisping, Weidman, (Tim) Boetsch, one of the guys that’s close to the title.
Apparently, Shields (27-6-1 MMA, 3-0 SF, 2-2 UFC) has always wanted to throw hands with Silva, as he believes his wrestling pedigree will cause Silva problems, a skill set former NCAA Division l standout Chael Sonnen was able to employ in his two championship fights with the Brazilian.
UFC 150: Benson Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar ll is scheduled to take place on August 11, 2012 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colo.