Jake Shields finally got his belt at last month’s EliteXC “Unfinished Business” event with a 63-second domination of Nick Thompson. Shields made it perfectly clear following the fight that he wants a crack at UFC Welterweight Champ Georges St. Pierre. Obviously, that won’t be happening anytime soon with Zuffa refusing to co-promote with anyone. So, without the fight he wants, who does Shields take on next?
The obvious answer is to defend his title at one of the upcoming EliteXC events. However, with Zuffa controlling all of the other top welterweights in the world, EliteXC is having a hard time finding him a suitable challenger. It was believed they had when an interview with Shields was posted stating that John Alessio would be facing Shields at EliteXC’s Sept. 20 event. However, that was refuted today by this report, which states that Sept. 20 is too soon for John to fully recover from his broken arm.
With Alessio off the table, Shields’ attention is now turned to a middleweight fight with another promotion that he refuses to name at this point. According to Jake, it’s a fight he would like to take, if ProElite will let him. Despite Shields’ unwillingness to reveal who this mystery middleweight fighter and accompanying promotion is, this is the internet and there are rumors.
Five Oz. is hearing that Shields is being considered as an opponent for Frank Trigg at Strikeforce’s Oct. 3 event, however Trigg said yesterday that he isn’t even signed to compete on the card despite being named as a participant in yesterday’s Strikeforce press release and appearing on the event’s promotional materials. Plus, MMANews.com is claiming that Strikeforce VP Mike Afromowitz has stated the Shields-Trigg rumor is “false.”
MMANews.com has their own “exclusive” though. They claim the mystery promotion is Affliction. They go on to speculate that the 185’er in question could be Matt Lindland amid rumors that Vitor Belfort’s broken hand won’t be healed in time for the Oct. 11 event. By the way, never in a million years did I ever imagine a Jake Shields vs. Matt Lindland fight. That strikes me as so odd for some reason.
If Affliction is the mystery promotion, they did just sign IFL Welterweight Champ Jay Hieron, so perhaps he’s a possible opponent for Shields in the future, if not now.
In short, no one, not even Shields, really knows for sure who Jake’s next opponent will be. I can guarantee you one thing though. As long as he’s on the outside of the UFC looking in, he’s not going to be fighting who he should be.