Jake Shields signs multi-fight deal with WSoF

Thursday, April 17, 2014

WSOF ‏@MMAWorldSeries 
WSOF has signed Jake Shields @jakeshieldsajj one of the top Welterweights in the world! We will announce Jakes debut soon!

Jake Shields was released 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. 

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.

Now, in a message to Bleacher Report, Shields announced his new cage.

“I am very excited to be fighting for the World Series of Fighting,” said Shields. “They have one of if not the best welterweight divisions in the world and I look forward to fighting great fighters like Jon Fitch, Rousimar Palhares, Josh Burkman, Gerald Harris and more. I also believe I will now be in an environment where fighters are embraced which will allow my performance at my very best! My first fight for WSOF will be soon so stay tuned. My thanks to the MMA community and fans for all the love and support.”

The Las Vegas-based WSoF, airs its main cards on NBC Sports Network. Expect to see Shields win one or two fights and sign again with the UFC, at a lower contract. However, WSoF has depth, and  Jon Fitch or Rousimar Palhares are by no means guaranteed.