Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
If there is one stone cold lock for the UFC 161 hot seat, it has to be Jake Shields. In 2012, Shields entered the UFC with great fanfare. He joined the promotion after defeating Dan Henderson, defending his Strikeforce title in that bout. Shields looked like a fighter who could come in and immediately challenge for the UFC welterweight title, at least on paper.
His UFC debut was a controversial split-decision win over Martin Kampmann at UFC 121. He followed that victory with a unanimous-decision loss to welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre and has since gone 1-1-0-1.
Shields enters UFC 161 coming off a no-contest in his last bout. He was originally declared the winner in that contest, but that decision was overturned when Shields failed his post-fight drug test. His six-month suspension served, Shields will meet Tyron Woodley in Winnipeg.
Woodley has all the momentum coming into this fight. He’s coming off a 36-second knockout win over Jay Hieron, and with that, Woodley is looking to make a jump in the UFC’s welterweight rankings at the expense of Shields.
Shields needs this win. If he loses, he will fall to 1-3-0-1 in his last five UFC bouts, and let’s not forget that Shields takes home a nice chunk of change for his efforts inside the Octagon.
In his last contest where pay was disclosed (UFC 121), Shields pulled down $150,000 ($75,000 show, $75,000 win), and that was four fights ago.
This is a particularly important fight for Mr. Shields. A win and he’s looking at getting back in the mix; a loss and Shields is in that “super f**king expensive” territory that got Jon Fitch released.