UFC Fight Night 25: Get off the Jake Shields Bandwagon

Bryan LevickContributor ISeptember 18, 2011

HOLLYWOOD - MARCH 17:  Strikeforce World Middleweight Champion Jake Shields 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

Enough is enough already. There are way too many people who are jumping all over Jake Shields because, God Forbid, he has lost two fights in a row. Never mind the fact that he won his previous 15 fights over a course of five years.

During his 12-year career Shields has defeated current Strikeforce Light Heavyweight champion Dan Henderson, current UFC No.1 Welterweight Contender Carlos Condit, Yushin Okami, Robbie Lawler, Martin Kampmann, Dave Menne, Mike Pyle, Nick Thompson, Jason Miller, Paul Daley and Hayato Sakurai. Not bad for a fighter with limited standup, and for someone considered an undersized middleweight.

There is no theory stating that because he achieved his success outside the UFC that it doesn't mean as much. A win over Dan Henderson means a hell of a lot no matter what organization they fought in. Same thing can be said for many of his other victims. No one has ever accused Shields of being the most exciting fighter, but much more often than not, he was able to get the job done, no matter how high the odds were stacked against him.

Is it his fault that the UFC sold him as a World Beater who was going to be Georges St. Pierre's toughest test ever? No, it was the UFC marketing machine doing what they do best when it comes to selling a fight. He may not have defeated GSP, but he did become the first fighter to win a round from him in a very long time.

People will actually point to his UFC debut against the always tough Kampmann. I don't care who you are, but Kampmann is a tough first opponent for anyone. Combine a tough weight cut along with the nerves that come along with making your first trip inside the Octagon and it's easy to see why he had a difficult time with Kampmann.

Going into his fight with Jake Ellenberger, a lot of people felt that this was a pitfall for Shields. He had nothing to gain but everything to lose against a fighter who was outside the top 10. Then with just three weeks left before the fight, Shields lost his father, best friend and manager all in one shot when Jack Shields passed away on August 29. Shields decided that his father would've wanted him to fight, but that in no way, shape or form means that he was able to block out the pain and not miss having his father in his corner come fight time.

Ellenberger is a very good fighter and is a force to be reckoned with, but Shields face said it all last night. He wasn't all there and is probably regretting his decision to be a good company man and soldiering on despite carrying such a heavy heart. I would make these same excuses for any fighter under the same circumstances, doesn't matter whether I liked them or not. If you're a human being then it's impossible not to be affected when suffering such a dramatic loss, especially when you are a fighter.

There are way too many of you who are either unfamiliar with Shields' career or maybe you have yet to suffer a loss of that magnitude. Stop jumping on the bandwagon and form your own opinion. It is so apparent that too many writers are using the same cookie cutter article when it comes to Jake Shields. We are all grown men and there is no need to for any of us to borrow someone else's opinion and change a few words to come up with a column.

Do the right thing and formulate your own opinions and write your own thoughts, it will get you much further and help expand your horizons a great deal.