Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Jake Shields, former Strikeforce Middleweight champion riding a 15-fight win streak, has finally come to the UFC. Shields has been fighting professionally for over a decade now and is incredibly popular, but fans worldwide have always wondered how he would fare against the cream of the crop of the world's biggest MMA organization, the UFC? UFC 121 answered this question as Shields went up against the ever-dangerous well-rounded fighter Martin "The Hitman" Kampmann.


Shields is best known for his ground game, being a phenomenal wrestler and BJJ black belt. Kampmann's best bet to win this fight would therefore have to be to keep it standing it standing as much as possible and outstrike Shields with his kickboxing. He's not known as "The Hitman" for nothing.

Unfortunately for Kampmann, Shields manages to get him on the ground very early and very easily, and immediately transitions into a dominant position. After struggling throughout the entire round, though, Kampmann eventually manages to force himself onto his feet and even separate from the vaunted grappler.

Kampmann, however, was very hesitant the rest of the round. He rarely threw any strikes and simply sidestepped until the bell. Obviously being manhandled by Shields on the ground for most of the round had adversely affected him mentally somehow, and this would dog him throughout the rest of the fight.


Things started to go Kampmann's way this round, however. Though Shields quickly manages to get hold of Kampmann, The Hitman counters with a knee in the clinch, which rocks Shields and sends him straight to the ground. Kampmann attempts to finish him with a guillotine choke, but Shields manages to escape. Shields then continues to out-wrestle Kampmann and controls him there for most of the round.

When Kampmann again manages to get back to his feet very late in the round, though, he instead decides to clinch with Shields rather than separate, possibly to try for another successful knee to the head. Nothing of the sort happens, unfortunately.


The end of the fight was actually very odd. First of all, Jake Shields came into the third round looking very exhausted. Joe Rogan surmised that it could have been because of the weight cut, but Shields has fought many times at Welterweight throughout his career, though the last time was admittedly two years ago. Shields was so weak that he couldn't get any of his takedowns to succeed anymore. Kampmann was defending them easily now.

Second of all, despite his opponent looking obviously weaker this time around, Kampmann was still very hesitant in throwing strikes. If there was ever a chance to successfully knock out Jake Shields with a properly timed head kick, it would have been now. Instead, Kampmann attempted to lock on a guillotine choke every time Shields would attempt a takedown.

Because of this, the fight eventually once  again went down to the ground, where Shields manages to out-wrestle his opponent, gain a dominant position and control him. Because he was still incredibly tired, he did no real damage, but still finished the round in a dominant fashion.


Shields wins a split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27) because of his dominant grappling capabilities, but is embarrassed at his performance, saying that Joe Rogan was right, and that the reason he ran out of gas was the weight cut. Shields had apparently cut 20 pounds only 24 hours prior to the weigh-ins, which is pretty ridiculous and extraordinarily risky. Shields promises never to repeat this again. Dana White, though, despite recognizing the fighter's failings during the event, still promised Shields a crack at the title after Georges St-Pierre fights Josh Koscheck.

Check out my reviews for the rest of the card, and head on over to the official UFC website for more amazing photos of the event!

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