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Jake Shields officially signs with Zuffa, set to face Martin Kampmann at UFC 121 in Anaheim


A couple days ago it was a rumor. Today it is a fact.

Jake Shields (25-4-1) confirmed his inevitable signing with the UFC via Twitter, as well as his first opponent with the promotion, Martin Kampmann.

The former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion has come to terms with the UFC after getting his release from his contract with the San Jose-based mixed martial arts promotion he's called home since the collapse of Elite XC nearly two years ago.

During his recent negotiations, Shields flirted with the UFC and spoke publicly about his desire to fight Octagon champions Georges St. Pierre (welterweight) and Anderson Silva (middleweight).

He also served as assistant coach to Chuck Liddell on Season 11 of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF).

While he competed in the 185-pound class in Strikeforce, Shields is a natural 170-pound competitor and has the flexibility to move between weight classes depending on what opportunities present themselves.

For now, he'll concentrate on his longtime goal of facing St. Pierre should "Rush" defeat Josh Koscheck (again) later this year with his first step in that direction coming in the form of a top-flight welterweight scrap with Martin Kampmann.


Kampmann has done some recent damage himself, welcoming another high profile welterweight to the Octagon when former WEC stud Carlos Condit debuted at UFC Fight Night 19 back in April 2009.

"The Hitman" emptied his clip into Jacob Volkmann when "Christmas" rang in the New Year for the injured Rory Markham at the UFC 108: "Evans vs. Silva" event earlier this year.

It was a much needed win for the Dane, who saw his title aspirations evaporate at the hands of Paul "Semtex" Daley back at UFC 103: "Franklin vs. Belfort" in September 2009.

In addition to the win over "Natural Born Killer," Kampmann is 13-2 since 2004 and like Shields, has also done time as a middleweight.

He is of course coming off a dominant win over the man that many pegged as a future welterweight title challenger, Paulo Thiago, at UFC 115 last month. A win over the surging Shields would likely vault Martin back to the top of the 170-pound division.

Shields vs. Kampmann at UFC 121: Who ya' got?

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