Strikeforce Winners Circle: Jake Shields (Part 3/3)

Randy JordanContributor IApril 18, 2010

HOLLYWOOD - MARCH 17:  From L to right : Undefeated Light Heavyweight contender 'King Mo' Lawal attends the CBS' Strikeforce MMA Fighters Open Media Workout on March 17, 2010 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
Valerie Macon/Getty Images

In this article, I am going to break down each of the winners at Nashville in a three-part series. This is part three of three. This is where you can find the FIRST PART and SECOND PART.

Fight Three:

Jake Shields def. Dan Henderson by unanimous decision.

Jake Shields was to have no chance against the bigger and seemingly better Dan Henderson. That was proved incorrect as Shields survived an early knockdown, and was able to regroup and win the next four rounds in route to a decision win. It may not have been pretty, but Shields showed the kind of determination that makes champions.

It was clear, after the third round that Henderson didn't have the gas needed to be effective in the championship rounds. Henderson looked like a shell of his former-self, getting taken down at will by the younger and faster Shields. I can't help but say Henderson's age looks like it's catching up with him, as Dan looked really stiff in his fight.

Jake Shields was a champion, and came into the match a 3.5-to-1 underdog. It was almost a forgone conclusion that Henderson would win, Shields faced an almost insurmountable amount of odds in his win over the legend Dan Henderson.

Now it is Shields who gets to cash in on those odds. Shields has one fight left and, unlike the UFC, he has no champions clause in his contract. He also noted after the fights, that his contract was time based and would run out before his last fight. That leaves a plethora of opportunities for him in the UFC.


What's Next

It  seems like Shields is headed for greener($) pastures. He sealed up a nice deal(either way) with his solid win over Dan Henderson. It will most likely be the UFC, and that sets up a exponential amount of matchups for Joe Silva in an already deep welterweight division.

Shields unquestionably has his sights set on the undisputed welterweight champion of the world, George St. Pierre. If Shields starts out as a top-five contender, he will have to make it past Josh Koscheck, Jon Fitch, Thiago Alves, and Anthony Johnson to get to GSP. If he's top 10, add Paul Daley, Martin Kampmann, Paulo Thiago, and Dan Hardy to that list.

There hasn't been much talk of where Shields would start a welterweight in the UFC. I think, since Strikeforce now wants to keep him. That will inturn force the UFC to drive up their price more than they already would've had he lost. This will make Shields a more substantial investment requiring more thought in his matchups.

With that said, I think he should fight Dan Hardy. It would give Shields the matchup advantage and would give the UFC a chance to build on its investments. Hardy has just faced a prolific wrestler and should have a better chance than he did against GSP.

What do you think?