This Saturday, at UFC 171, four welterweights will battle to determine the next 170 pound world champion and number one contender. Jake Shields is not one of them, though he is also on the UFC 171 card and has beaten three out of those four other men.
In the UFC 171 main event, Robbie Lawler and Johny Hendricks will square up with the vacant welterweight title on the line. In the co-main event, Tyron Woodley and Carlos Condit will fight in what many are considering a bout to determine the next number one contender at welterweight.
Jake Shields fights earlier on the same card, against Hector Lombard. The former Strikeforce champion welterweight title challenger feels that he has been overlooked.
"I get overlooked,"Shields recently told MMA Fighting.
Shields beat Condit and Lawler both, years ago, but much more recently won a decision over Woodley. Because of that, the Cesar Gracie black belt believes he should be fighting Condit in the co-main event.
"[The fight with Woodley] fight was so recent. It was less than a year ago, so I think I should fight in the co-main event against Condit, but it is what it is,"Shields said.
Shields says he know why he is being overlooked - close decision wins.
"You know what my problem is? Sometimes my fights have been a little too close," he said.
"I need to go out there and put some dominant wins together."
Shields says his being left out of the co-main event stings but that he has to focus on his task on hand - Hector Lombard.
"It's not that big of a deal, but if [Woodley] was to win and they gave him a title shot, that'd be unfair. I just beat him. Especially coming off a big win, too. It'd be one thing if I lost and he hadn't, but I've had bigger wins since then," Shields argued.
"So to give him a title shot would be completely unfair, but again, I don't make those decisions. I just have to worry about beating Hector."
Shields was impressed by Lombard's last fight - a KO win over Nate Marquardt at UFC 166 - and knows what his own strategy needs to be.
"He looked great, but it was so short it's hard to judge too much," Sheilds said.
"He looked really, really fast and explosive and in good shape. I'm expecting him to be a tough fight. He definitely looked good in that fight."
Shields may feel that his style has made people overlook him but he's not about to change it and take a larger risk of losing than he needs to be. Against the powerful striker Lombard, Shields made no bones about his plan to take the fight to the ground.
"Definitely, it's a no-brainer I want to take it to the ground," Shields admitted.
"He's got too much power. He's too vicious there, but I am willing to stand with him for a while and feel things out, but after a while at some point I hope to get it to the ground and submit him."
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- Jake Shields
- Carlos Condit
- Tyron Woodley