"We look at everything. Everything. Money has something to do with it. I'd be lying if I said it didn't. But, that wasn't the only reason or the main reason. It was a part of the piece of the puzzle as we were doing our evaluation of him. Mixed martial arts is a young man's game... I like Jake Shields a lot. But let's be honest here: Where was he going in this [welterweight] division of animals we have? He's on the downswing, and he's never going to be the guy. His stand-up never improved. He hasn't really shown anything in his last couple of fights to make you go, 'Holy [expletive].' Right now, at this point, he's just another guy. All of the people who had been [expletive] and moaning to me about Jon Fitch when he was fighting for us and were complaining that he was so boring, they all got outraged when we cut him. And it's like the same thing now with Jake. Well, the media didn't even think he was good enough to be in the Top 10.... We have 500 guys under contract, which is a lot more than we really need, and after each show, we really, really need to take a close look at what we do with guys."
-- At a time when James Te Huna and Nate Marquardt are headlining an upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) main event this summer in New Zealand (read full details here), company president Dana White tells Yahoo!Sports.com about the thought process behind the recent cut of former No. 1 Welterweight title contender, Jake Shields (read more details here). Both are winless in their last five fights combined, while Shields recently toppled Demian Maia in the UFC Fight Night 29 main event in Oct. 2013 and had won three of his last four appearances (excluding a "No Contest" in a bout with Ed Herman because of a failed drug test). It's probably true that Shields "wasn't going anywhere" at this advanced stage of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career -- his best days are clearly behind him. But, even on the "downswing," it's hard to argue that Shields -- like Jon Fitch at the time of his abrupt release -- isn't worthy to be on UFC's crowded roster, able to defeat a significant percentage of the 96 other fighters in the 170-pound division. And even though White suggests "everything" is taken into consideration, it's rather transparent that Shields' fan-unfriendly, jiu-jitsu-first style, was the overriding factor. Shields, despite his credentials and ability to defeat top-notch talent, is a boring fighter, who offers few intangibles -- like international appeal -- worth keeping around to sell even weak shows on Fight Pass.