Former Strikeforce and EliteXC champion Jake Shields made his UFC debut a successful one this evening in Anaheim, California by fighting through fatigue to grit out a decision over Martin Kampmann.
Shields got in Kampmann’s face right off the bat, putting a successful takedown behind a punch and kick combo. Shields displayed his grappling prowess from there, transitioning into mount fairly with ease. The story for the rest of the fight would follow a similar patter. Shields would strike with Kampmann just long enough to set up a takedown and usually after fighting for bit, he would secure it. Kampmann began finding a home for his strikes though, and bloodied Shields with stiff jabs; even dropping the former champ at times with quick knees from the clinch. Shields hung tough though, and kept up with his game plan of getting Kampmann to the mat. A clearly exhausted Shields did his best to plug forward in the third round, but his opponent took advantage of his fatigue and threatened briefly with ground and pound and a D’arce choke off of a failed takedown attempt. Shields found his wind though, and got Kampmann to his back again in short order; finishing the round on Kampmann’s back.
Shields was awarded the split-decision win over Kampmann and improved his overall record to 26-4-1. The Cesar Gracie trained fighter made it fifteen in a row with his win at UFC 121 and could have netted himself a title shot with the win. Kampmann fell to 17-3 with the loss and broke a two-fight streak he had built with wins over Paulo Thiago and Jacob Volkmann.