After recording arguably the biggest win of his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) career against Tyron Woodley at UFC 161 on Saturday night (June 15, 2013), Jake Shields only wants the road to get more difficult.
Shields (28-6-1, 1 NC) surprised many people at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, when he brought an end to the hype train of "T-Wood" in the form of a razor-thin split decision victory.
It wasn't the most entertaining fight of the evening, and even though Shields would have liked to give fans a more invigorating scrap, he is happy with the result of the fight and in particular the fact he was able to show off his stand up skills more than usual.
"I really was trying to put on an exciting fight," Shields told Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting following the event. "Sometimes I don't put on the best fights so I wanted to put on a good fight and I felt like he was really defensive which bummed me out a little bit, but I was able to show off my stand up and out strike him a little bit."
Shields, who has fluctuated between the welterweight and middleweight divisions in recent years, recorded his first win at 170-pounds since Feb. 2012 to improve his record inside the Octagon to 3-2 with one "No Contest."
While the former Strikeforce champion hasn't been the most impressive since coming over to the UFC, his career resume includes wins over the likes of Dan Henderson, Carlos Condit, Yushin Okami and Martin Kampmann - a list of victories the 34-year-old believes should earn him a top-five opponent next time out.
"I do [feel I'm top-10]," Shields said. "I think Tyron was ranked top-10 and I beat guys like Kampmann, Condit not so long ago, Tyron, I've beaten a lot of these top guys so I would like to get back in there with Rory MacDonald or [Jake] Ellenberger or any of the top-five."
For more news and notes on UFC 161: "Evans vs. Henderson," visit our complete event archive here.