Tuesday, May 24, 2011

ROUNDTABLE: What's next for Jake Shields following his first loss in six years at UFC 129? Hansen, Perez, Hobaugh, Marsh, Hyden, Pelkey and Penick

What's next for Jake Shields after his first loss in six years?


I was so confused by Jake Shields' game plan vs. GSP that I still don't have any idea exactly what we all witnessed.� Shields, renowned for having the weakest standup game of any welterweight title contender, not only hung with GSP on the feet but actually acquitted himself very well there.� Was this because he's developed an average striking game, or because GSP had an off night?� I say we find out by putting Shields in against Thiago Alves (if Alves defeats Story), Josh Koscheck (if his face ever heals), or the winner of Anthony Johnson and Nate Marquardt.


Jake Shields would be a good and interesting fight for someone like Josh Koscheck when Kos is ready to get back into the cage.� Possibly B.J. Penn.� Penn would do well to go against a wrestler of Shields caliber if he's looking back to get into the cage against GSP.� Under no circumstance, entertainment wise, should he fight Jon Fitch.� Not to say it wouldn't be interesting, but it wouldn't be.��


He could fight the winner of Jon Fitch vs B.J. Penn if they still fight.� Any top five welterweight would be an excellent fight for Shields.� His style will give many of the elite fighters fits.� I think a fight between Shields and B.J. would be an all time classic. Josh Koscheck would be a great fight as well.


I see the UFC putting him against Koscheck maybe to see if he's going to be competing at a high level consistently.


Back to the drawing board. There's plenty of high-quality fighters in the welterweight division for Shields to face. B.J. Penn, Jon Fitch, Carlos Condit, there's a lot of guys for Shields to fight. Any of these guys would be a good starting point for Shields to try to work his way back to a title shot.


Just another high-level welterweight. Its not like GSP was the one guy we wanted to see Shields against. Jon Fitch, B.J. Penn, Thiago Alves, and Josh Koscheck top my wish list for next Shields' opponents, but that doesn't even include guys like Carlos Condit, Rick Story, or Jake Ellenberger. My guess is the UFC pits Shields against Fitch when Fitch is healed up in a "loser never (ever, ever, ever) asks for a title fight again" fight.


Depending upon how his face is healing up after the five rounds of punishment he took against Georges St. Pierre, Josh Koscheck would be at the top of my list for Shields' next opponent. Shields was just defeated by the best welterweight on the planet, it's not going to send him crashing down the rankings, so a fight with St. Pierre's last vanquished challenger makes the most sense. After that, Thiago Alves should Alves get past Rick Story is a definite option. Depending on how long Fitch is stuck out of action, Shields could step into that fight against B.J. Penn if Penn is ready to return sooner as well. Shields is surely not at a loss for opponents inside the Octagon, and the UFC will get him matched up with a top contender the next time out.

Source: http://www.mmatorch.com/artman2/publish/roundtables/article_9307.shtml

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