One and done.
Jake Shields was on a two-fight winning streak before losing to Hector Lombard at UFC 171 almost a month ago, yet it wasn't good enough to keep him on the current roster.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) gave Shields his walking papers after the former Strikeforce middleweight champion lost one fight -- and he wasn't even finished -- despite being clearly dominated.
His manager, Lex McMahon, was surprised by the decision (via The MMA Hour):
"It was surprising given the body of work he's put forth over the years."
The Californian's best years may be behind him, although considering the number of fighters on the roster at the moment, you'd think the experienced veteran would have at least stuck around for some "prelims" or Fight Pass scraps.
Instead, UFC decided to release him and weren't too nice about it, either.
It wasn't like UFC 171 was a do-or-die situation for Shields, or that his fight against Lombard was a "loser leaves town" type of match. For starters, if he would have won the bout, he could have made a case to be considered as Johny Hendricks next challenger, since he's already beaten up a few of the top ranked welterweights:
"Jake has fought some of the toughest fighters in the world, and has wins over guys like (Demian) Maia, (Robbie) Lawler, (Tyron) Woodley, Dan Henderson ... guys that are at the top of their division. So, to lose one fight and all of a sudden be out of a job is something that I believe was surprising. To be honest, we were positioned, looking at Jake as a potential title contender. After Georges (St-Pierre) retired, Jake had pretty much beaten everybody out there."
The good news for Shields is marquee players such as himself become a hot commodity once they're thrown into the free agency pool, and it doesn't take long to find work elsewhere.
When one door closes, another one opens:
"I think obviously Jake was disappointed. He is a guy who for many years has been a champion, fought at championship level, been top-ranked. He was on a four-fight win streak prior to the Lombard loss, so I think it was something that took him by surprise. He's prepared to move forward."
Time to ride off into the sunset ... before signing for another promotion.