Jake Shields returns to middleweight, next fight planned for Aug. 2012

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) number one Welterweight (170 pounds) contender Jake Shields will make the move back up to Middleweight (185 pounds) effective immediately.

The announcement was made tonight (March 27, 2012) on FUEL TV's "UFC Tonight" weekly broadcast. No potential opponent for Shields was announced nor is known at this time.

Shields, who is coming off a unanimous decision win over Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 144 on Feb. 25, 2012, has spent time at both welterweight and middleweight over the course of his 34-fight professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career.

According to the report, Shields feels healthier at 185 pounds, revealing that the weight cut down to 170 pounds is just too much for him. The plan, reportedly, is for Shields -- who is a former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion -- to add more muscle to his frame, and then return to the Octagon in late summer (either July or August 2012).

UFC.com had the following official press release on Shields' return to the 185-pound division:

"The Californian is no stranger to middleweight though, having won a Strikeforce title there, and among his victims in the division are Dan Henderson Jason Miller, and Robbie Lawler. Shields is coming off a UFC 144 win over Yoshihiro Akiyama in February."

Since Shields debuted for the UFC in Oct. 2010, the Cesar Gracie team member (and "Scrap Pack" alum) has gone 2-2, notching victories over the aforementioned Akiyama and Martin Kampmann, while suffering defeat at the hands of Jake Ellenberger and UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre. While he did lose to "GSP," many considered it to be the closest anyone has fought the Canadian juggernaut in a very long time.

Nonetheless, the switch presents an interesting opportunity for a rematch between Shields and Dan Henderson, who lost to Shields while both fighters fought under the Strikeforce banner. "Hendo" had recently commented on his dissatisfaction with the UFC's decision to give Rashad Evans the next crack at Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones' belt at UFC 145 on Apr. 21, 2012, expressing that he believes himself to be a more worthy contender.

Perhaps he'll be interested in a exacting revenge.

Even if he is not, there are certainly plenty of other intriguing match ups for Shields at 185 pounds. And, of course, there is always "Mayhem," who nearly scored a submission victory over Shields and then almost got killed in the cage requesting a rematch.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join MMAmania.com

You must be a member of MMAmania.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MMAmania.com. You should read them.

Join MMAmania.com

You must be a member of MMAmania.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MMAmania.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5349_tracker