Manager: Release took Shields by surprise


Jake Shields' manager Lex McMahon appeared on Monday's episode of The MMA Hour, and discussed his fighter's release by the UFC after a single loss, to Hector Lombard. Shields, 35, had previously beaten Yoshihiro Akiyama by unanimous decision, and Demian Maia and Tyron Woodley by split decision. Shields also had a win over Ed Herman changed to a no contest, following his positive test for a prohibited substance.

The release was doubtless influenced in part by the high contract Shields was fighting under. If he gets a win or two in for example the World Series of Fighting, he could well me back, presumably with a smaller contract.

The cut was also part of a larger trend in the UFC, in which for example Yushin Okami and Jon Fitch were released and Ben Askren was passed over, due to a fighting style not friendly to asses in seats. Continued employment with the world's leading MMA organization now also relies on an exciting fighting style, in addition to wins and losses.

And as well, the UFC may be looking to promote young, new talent, rather than athletes like Shields who have been fighting since the late 90s.

"I think, obviously, Jake was disappointed," said McMahon as transcribed by Shaun Al-Shatti for MMAFighting. "He is a guy who for many years has been a champion, fought on a championship level, been top ranked. He was on a four-fight win streak prior to the Lombard loss, so I think it was something that took him by surprise, but he's prepared to move forward."

"To lose one fight and then all of a sudden be out of a job was something that I believe was surprising and not contemplated. To be honest, we were really positioned and looking for Jake as a potential title contender, given the mix of the landscape after Georges retired. Jake had beaten pretty much everybody that was out there. He beat Condit, he beat Woodley, he beat Maia. So really, there wasn't too many other options. With the right performance, I think (he could've been fighting for the title).

"It just shows you the nature of this sport. The right performance, he potentially fights for the title. The wrong performance, he's looking for a new job."

"Listen, the UFC, it's their organization. They have the liberty to do with it what they will," McMahon said. "Certainly it's surprising, but at the end of the day everybody knows the type of fights that they like to see. Jake grinds out wins, but the bottom line is that he wins, and he wins at a very high level. He beats some of the best guys out there.

"I certainly fought for Jake. Unfortunately, Dana and Lorenzo and Joe Silva had made up their minds, and at the end of the day it's their company and they do what they decide to do."

Suitors for Shields' talents include ONE FC which has the possibility of a fight with Askren, and Titan FC, which offered equity.


tags: UFC   Jake Shields (detail)  Lex McMahon   


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Recent Comments »

DirtyLickinsBrah site profile image  

4/7/14 10:01 PM by DirtyLickinsBrah

So true, but that describes almost every business unfortunately.

D241 site profile image  

4/7/14 9:31 PM by D241

I'll be happy to watch Jake help a smaller mma organization blow up.   UFC has proven to me a long time ago they're about the dollar over anything else. Money over quality, over fans, over entertainment. Greedy fucks.

KnowKontrol site profile image  

4/7/14 8:10 PM by KnowKontrol

I agree I enjoy some of sheilds fights... But I would not want a card full of them. I think what we are starting to see is that we are getting more jake sheilds and less chris Diego Sanchezes... It was the Sanchezes that made the sport exciting... Got people to watch. It's the sheilds that people complain about. Zuffa has already said they work on the WWE model... Well that is based on excitement. We want chuck lot knock someone's block off... Or Royce to submit someone. Not just decision after decision. My guess is the purist represent the minority of what watches UFC. And the JUST BLEED guys represent the majority.

ghost842 site profile image  

4/7/14 8:09 PM by ghost842

rather than cut him I wish they would have tried to rework his deal and use him on some of the free tv events. I get it, his style isn't the most exciting but I'd still rather watch him in a competitive fight as the main event of a fight night card

DirtyLickinsBrah site profile image  

4/7/14 7:55 PM by DirtyLickinsBrah

These boring fighters choose to gamble by playing it safe.As long as they win, they are fine....but they know whats coming when they lose.It all comes down to the way fights are scored...too many wrestlers taking advantage of lay and praying to a decision.

Horace.P.McTitties site profile image  

4/7/14 7:51 PM by Horace.P.McTitties

Ufc is wack get shields back or the ug will attack and Francis wont like tHat

Korpiklaani site profile image  

4/7/14 7:44 PM by Korpiklaani

ufc is a fucken joke,i cant imagine working for crazy ass people like them

The Winter Soldier site profile image  

4/7/14 7:40 PM by The Winter Soldier

Bad move by the UFC.

Death Star site profile image  

4/7/14 7:40 PM by Death Star

He should thank them for the gift that was the Kampmann victory and the title shot and go on his way. I won't be tuning in to wherever he lands to watch him wrestle-fuck his way to another borderline decision.

quality site profile image  

4/7/14 7:34 PM by quality

Titan offered equity?