Jake Shields held championship belts from three different promotions –
Shooto, Rumble on the Rock and EliteXC – but the only organization that once called him king still in existence is Shooto.
Both Rumble on the Rock and EliteXC were promising promotions in the mixed martial arts landscape and the San Franciscan a chance to establish his name in North America after reaching the top in Japan via Shooto. But they were liquidated, leaving Shields to search for another chance to attach his increasingly popular name to a North American championship. So when Strikeforce founder and CEO Scott Coker approached Shields with a fight against the dangerous former ICON and EliteXC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler on June 6, he didn’t hesitate.
“I didn’t even have to think about it. Yeah, of course I’ll fight Robbie in the main event,” he told ‘The Info.’ “I want to go out there and put on a great show so I can keep being a main event fighter.”
Lawler is a fight Shields has wanted for some time and pursuing it made him an enemy in Strikeforce welterweight Joe Riggs. The two were scheduled to fight at the organization’s April 11 show, however, the bout didn’t fit with Shields’ plan
“For a minute there, I was having a hard time getting excited for my fights,” said the Cesar Gracie black belt. “I was fighting good opponents but ones that didn’t quite excitement me. But now [Strikeforce] got me Robbie Lawler, so this is an opportunity to showcase my skill.”
Signing up to get punched in the face by a larger opponent is not something fighters do often. Yet Shields was willing to step up and meet Lawler at a catch weight of 182-pounds.
“Knowing that I’ve fought two top 85-pounders in the world it really helps my confidence,” said Shields, who once sought out an Affliction bout with 185-pound standout Matt Lindland and holds a decision victory over Yushin Okami.
Shields currently weighs 188-189 pounds, bulking up on protein shakes at the behest of the strength trainer who oversaw Shields’ Rumble on the Rock middleweight tournament win, but he doesn’t worry that the extra mass will sap his energy.
Whether he’s a welterweight or middleweight, Shields believes “next is that Strikforce belt” and Robbie Lawler is “Ruthless” and in his way.
“The Info” is the official podcast of promma.info, hosted by Matt De La Rosa and Eddie Constantine, who had on Danny Acosta as a guest during their Jake Shields interview.