The Cesar Gracie righter returned from a suspension just a few weeks ago and completely neutralized Tyrone Woodley's potent offense to score a close unanimous decision victory in his last bout, stopping his momentum in its tracks.
With most fighters wanting nothing to do with Shields, perhaps that made Mike Pierce's head trainer Phil Claud's wishes so interesting.
The Sports Lab founder made his point on this past week's edition of The Verbal Submission:
"We'd really like to fight Jake Shields next. A little bit of that is availability. Both of those guys are coming off wins in the last couple months. We feel that stylistically, both guys are good on the ground so it could be a good place for Mike to really showcase his striking and his muay thai. I think it's a good fight for us and it's a top opponent that Mike deserves. I think we can put on a good fight and to be honest, I think we can finish Jake Shields."
Talk about confidence.
Pierce, like Shields, possesses a very difficult style to deal with at the moment. His in-you-face grinding attack mixed with powerful strikes on the feet has stymied multiple opponents and helped the Northwest fighter propel himself to a current four fight winning streak in the UFC welterweight division. He most recently knocked out Dave Mitchell in the opening bout of UFC 162 just over a week ago (July 6, 2013).
With so few fighters willing to step into the cage with either man, why not match them up against each other?