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Manager wants Damian Maia to welcome Jake Shields back to the middleweight division

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The UFC welterweight division hasn't been kind to Jake Shields

The former Strikeforce champion squeaked out a split decision victory over Martin Kampmann in his UFC debut and subsequently lost his championship match against 170-pound king, Georges St. Pierre

Shields then went on to lose his next fight at welterweight, as well, as rising contender Jake Ellenberger sent him to the showers early, knocking him out just 53 seconds into the fight.

A move back up to middleweight could be just what the doctor ordered.

At least, that's what Eduardo Alonso, Damian Maia's manager, is hoping for. Speaking to, Alonso says a fight with Shields would be a good test for his client.

"It's a personal desire, but I guess it'd be a good fight, an interesting challenge for Demian. For his record and skills as a fighter, I'm guessing it'd be interesting. Fighting top 10 guys is always interesting. Since he once was a champion in Strikeforce in this weight class and has great wins over top athletes like Dan Henderson, and because he likes to fight on the ground, I believe it'd be a great match-up against Demian."

Alonso, who also manages Mauricio Rua, hopes to fill a coveted slot on the highly anticipated upcoming cards in either Brazil or Japan.

"We are still on the first talks with UFC, but our expectations are for him to fight in 2012. I guess there's a possibility of a new event in Brazil, and that might be a facilitator. Or it can be in Japan in February, something that would be very interesting."

Shields has been very successful at middleweight, capturing the SHOOTO middleweight title in 2004. The Cesar Gracie trained fighter also captured the vacant Strikeforce 185-pound title by defeating Jason Miller in 2009 before successfully defending it against Dan Henderson last year.

Maia is coming off a unanimous decision victory over fellow countrymen Jorge Santiago at UFC 136 and holds impressive victories over Nate Quarry, Dan Miller and current number one contender, Chael Sonnen.

What do you think of this proposed match-up between these two great jiu-jitsu practitioners?

Will a move to middleweight revive Jake Shields career? Or will Maia give him much of the same medicine he found in the crowded welterweight division?

Opinions, please.

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