If you can't cut it in one weight class, bail off to another.
That's what Jake Shields is doing tonight (Sat., Aug. 11, 2012) when he returns to the middleweight division to take on Ed Herman on the main card of the UFC 150: "Henderson vs. Edgar 2" pay-per-view event in Denver, Colorado.
Shields is an unusual case. Though failure typically dictates switching weight classes, and he's no different, the division he's going back to is one he's had a great deal of success in throughout his career. In fact, he came over to the UFC from Strikeforce on the strength of a successful middleweight title defense against Dan Henderson.
However, the powers that be felt he would be better served to try his luck at welterweight, so that's what he did. But he ran into problems immediately, putting in a less than stellar performance against Martin Kampmann after a tough weight cut and losing to Georges St. Pierre in his one and only chance at the title. Another loss followed and for the first time in his career, Shields was on a losing streak.
Obviously, this was a problem and while his weight wasn't the only culprit, it certainly played a big part in his lack of success. In his own words:
"In Strikeforce, I was the middleweight champion. I've had quite a bit of success there. When I came to the UFC I decided to drop to welterweight but I didn't feel like I was quite at my peak, so I'm moving back to 185-pounds and I want to make a run at the UFC middleweight belt. I'm not a big 185-pounder but it's nice not cutting a lot of weight, going in there and feeling strong and fresh. When I was cutting to 170-pounds, it seemed like it was just a little too much."
Herman is no push over but he's also not exactly the elite of the division. In short, he's the perfect opponent to welcome Shields back to 185-pounds. And it all goes down tonight, Maniacs. How do you see this one playing out?
UFC 150 will be headlined by Ben Henderson defending his lightweight championship against the man he won it from earlier this year, Frankie Edgar. The show will also see Donald Cerrone take on Melvin Guillard and Yushin Okami square off against Buddy Roberts.
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the main card action on fight night (Saturday, August 11, 2012), which is slated to air at 10 p.m. ET on PPV. The latest quick updates of the live action will begin to flow earlier than that around 8:00 p.m. ET with the "Prelims" bouts on Facebook and FX Channel.