For Jake Shields, one loss continues to haunt him to this day.
No, it’s not Georges St-Pierre, the current UFC welterweight champion.
Instead, it’s the man who defeated Shields (27-6-1) after the GSP loss: Jake Ellenberger.
Shields returns to action this Saturday night at UFC 161 against Tyron Woodley, and hopes a win over his fellow Strikeforce vet can position him for a rematch with Ellenberger.
“For me, I feel like that’s the only loss I’ve had that needs to be avenged, for several reasons. I feel like the stoppage was too early and having lost my dad just a couple weeks before…” said Shields, during a recent interview with BloodyElbow.com, “There were multiple things going on with me. Of course, he won that fight, and I’m not going to say that he didn’t, but I just feel like things should have gone differently, and I would like another shot at that.”
As Shields eluded to, his father – who was also his manager – had suddenly died shortly before he entered the Octagon to meet Ellenberger. After the loss, he decided to return to middleweight, defeating Ed Herman last August.
The decision, though, was changed to a no-contest when Shields failed the post-fight drug test. This is his first fight back since that experience.
“The cut is much easier now. The first time I fought at 170 in the UFC, I had done three or four fights at 185 just prior to that,” Shields said. “My body had gotten bigger and I had gotten used to it, It’s definitely a lot easier to make the cut now. It’s still not fun to cut to 170, but it’s not as bad a cut as it was in the past. I eat cleaner now and try to keep my diet on track year-round.”