Former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion and current UFC welterweight contender Jake Shields barely made it past Martin Kampmann at UFC 121, but it was enough to tentatively earn himself a title shot. UFC President Dana White said several times pre-fight that a win over Kampmann would put Shields next in line for the title and even though White reiterated his statements after the fight (along with pointing out Shields’ stupidity at dropping twenty pounds in a day), Shields is not taking anything for granted and isn’t banking on getting that shot.
During a recent appearance on the Sherdog Radio Network’s Savage Dog Show, Shields told hosts Greg Savage and TJ De Santis that he won’t consider himself the next contender until his bout agreement with the champ has been signed. Until then, the Cesar Gracie team member pledges to continue developing his game in the gym.
“I’m still, at this point, not 100-percent sure,” said Shields. “I know Dana’s made it sound like it’s a good chance it’s still happening, but I don’t know until it’s signed. Right now I’m just back to the gym, doing my thing. If they want me to fight for the title, I’ll happily do that. If not, I’ll fight whoever they want me to fight.”
Shields, who has several times admitted to being “stupid” for cutting a drastic amount of weight, conceded that a performance like the one he put on against Kampmann likely would not have earned him a victory over the welterweight champion. Regardless, the California believes in his ability to achieve that goal and promised to do what is necessary to be in the right kind of shape to make that goal a reality when the time comes.
It’s just a matter of getting my weight down a little more so I don’t go out there and look like crap in a title fight,” Shields said. “The way I fought the other night, I don’t feel like I would have won a title that night. But I do feel like it’s something I’m capable of doing. I just felt like I wasn’t myself that night.”
Though Shields is rightfully disappointed in his UFC 121 performance, he is happy to have gotten his first UFC win under his belt and is looking forward to proving himself a worthy contender the next time he appears in the UFC; whether it be in a title fight or otherwise.
“If I didn’t make weight, I’d have probably lost that title shot,” Shields said. “I made sure to come in there and make it. I’m not that happy with my performance overall, but I am happy I won. I’m ready to move forward and have a better second fight in the UFC.”