Sunday, September 18, 2011

Shields Overrated?

As I watched Jake Shields get demolished by Jake Ellenberger, I have to wonder if Shields may have been overrated. After the fight ended, 2 of my friends called me within minutes of each other both exclaiming, "Shields is overrated!". And I have to agree, given his performance against Ellenberger.

The big question mark is obviously the death of Shields' father, Jack Shields. His unexpected and sudden death 3 weeks before the fight had to be weighing on Jake Shields' mind. However, in all his pre-fight interviews, Shields claimed he was fine and that mentally he was ready for his fight.

So assuming that he was mentally ready, it makes me ask the question. Is Jake Shields overrated? Now prior to his loss to GSP in a close title fight, Shields had not lost in 6 years. But those wins in my opinion were against lesser competition. Now people will point out his win over Dan Henderson in which he dominated him in route to a one sided unanimous decision. But Hendo came into that fight injured and almost knocked Shields out in the first round. If they were to fight again, I believe Hendo would mop the floor with him.

In Shields' UFC debut, he won a split decision over Martin Kampmann. I believe Kampmann won that fight, but the judges gave it to Shields. In his title fight with GSP, Shields did end GSP's streak of 30 consecutive winning rounds. But that was only after GSP sustained an eye injury and was fighting half blind. But just like fighting an injured Dan Henderson, Shields couldn't finish an injured GSP either. As we know, GSP went on to win the decision and retain his title.

Again, with the death of his father I can completely understand if he was not mentally ready for his fight and that was a major cause to his loss. But I'm not taking anything from Ellenberger. He did land a devastating knee to severe Shields from consciousness.

Going forward, we will see if my friends and I are right to believe Shields is overrated. Shields will now have to win several fights in a row to get back in title contention. He will have to run a gauntlet of talent in the UFC.

My immediate thought for his first fight would be against Josh Koscheck. But that is dependent on Koscheck staying at welterweight. Prior to his matchup with Matt Hughes at UFC 135, he was slated to return at middleweight at UFC 139.

So what do you think? Is his consecutive losses in the UFC against tougher competition an indication of things to come? Or is this a minor hiccup due to the loss of his father? Is Jake Shields overrated?

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