After three and a half years and eight fights, The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Monday released welterweight fighter Jake Shields.
News of Shields’ release was first reported by MMAFighting.com.
“Jake Shields has been released by the UFC. Jake appreciates the opportunities provided by the UFC and thanks Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta. Jake is an elite athlete who is one of the best welterweight fighters in the world with a long history of winning at a championship level,” read a statement by Shields’ manager, Lex McMahon.
“Jake and our team are already exploring options. I'm confident that Jake will have a new promotion to call home very soon. Jake thanks his fans for their support and looks forward to competing for them again soon.”
Having left Strikeforce as that promotion’s outgoing middleweight champion, Shields entered the Octagon in late 2010, immediately making a splash. He defeated Martin Kampmann to quickly earn a shot at then-UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, fighting in front of more than 55,000 fans at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
He failed to win the title and then lost his next bout to Jake Ellenberger.
Shields bounced back by winning three of his next four bouts – one of those bouts was originally a decision victory, but was changed to a no contest when he tested positive for an unidentified banned substance.
In his last before being released, Shields dropped a unanimous decision to Hector Lombard at UFC 171 in Dallas.
Having spent the past 15 years as a professional fighter and becoming a champion in Shooto, Rumble on the Rock, EliteXC, and Strikeforce.
Shields is currently the No. 9 ranked welterweight in the MMAWeekly.com World MMA Rankings, and No. 11 on the UFC welterweight list.