After a failed bid at the welterweight title, Jake Shields has decided to move up to middleweight and at UFC 150 claimed his first victory in the land of 185 under the Zuffa banner.
His defeat of TUF 3 finalist Ed Herman reaffirmed what we already knew about Shields: that he was a solid fighter who is best when he has his opponent on the floor.
Although unable to defeat Herman by any and all means available, he still ground out a solid victory in Denver, and now he is in the mix.
But how deep in the mix is he already?
Many of his fans point to his domination of Dan Henderson as a sign that he is probably a top five contender already, and given his past accomplishments, they may have a point.
Still, he struggled against Martin Kampmann, was dominated by GSP, TKO’d by Jake Ellenberger early in the first round of their bout and has yet to secure a victory in the UFC by any means other than a judge’s decision.
Now, he has a whole slew of possible opponents waiting for him and most of them will be bigger and stronger than he is.
So, who’s next? Here are five possible fights for Shields at middleweight.