In another shock release by the UFC they have said goodbye to former title challenger Jake Shields (29-7-1-1). The 35-year-old made his UFC debut just three and a half years ago after controversially leaving Strikeforce and brought into the UFC in one of the years biggest news stories.
Previous ‘shock releases’ have included Yushin Okami and Jon Fitch. Now it looks like it will be a continuos trend for the UFC to release big wage fighters who either aren’t producing or don’t look like getting back to title contention again.
His manager Lex McMahon gave the following statement to MMAFighting.com today:
“Jake Shields has been released by the UFC. Jake appreciates the opportunities provided by the UFC and thanks Dana White and Lorenzo Fertita. Jake is an elite athlete who is one of the best welterweight fighters in the world with a long history of winning at a championship level. Jake and our team are already exploring options. I’m confident that Jake will have a new promotion to call home very soon. Jake thanks his fans for their support and looks forward to competing for them again soon.”
Alan’s Angle: Shields is coming towards, if not already in, the twilight of his career and has had a very up and down UFC career posting a record of 4-3 (1 NC) in the Octagon. He came in with big expectations and having been signed from a rival promotion at the time means he is more than likely on big wages. All of his fights bar one in the UFC have went the distance so this really mirrors the Jon Fitch release of being a high ranked fighter on big wages, former title challenger who’s fights go the distance and aren’t all that entertaining.
No doubt Shields will be snapped up in the free agent market that seems to be doing well with promotions such as Bellator, WSOF and, to a lesser degree, ONE FC happy to take on any big name fighters.