Some people don’t find Jake Shields’ fighting style to be the most thrilling in the world, but regardless of how you view him in that respect, it’s hard to question the man’s heart.
Just weeks after his father, Jack Shields — who also happened to be his manager and mentor — passed away, Shields will step into the cage against a hungry and determined Jake Ellenberger in the main event of UFC Fight Night 25. Even Ellenberger has gone on the record as saying he would have completely understood if Shields decided to pull out of their main event tilt, so why did Shields opt to keep himself on the card?
“I had such a good father in my life for the 32 years that I had him,” Shields recently told MMAWeekly Radio. “I look at the positives instead of the negatives, and he was my biggest fan. I know he’d want me to go out there and shine and that’s what I’m planning on going out there and doing.”
Shields admitted that he initially thought of cancelling the fight when he first heard the news, but that he quickly made up his mind to follow through with it.
“Of course it crossed my mind the first few minutes, I was in shock, it kind of came out of nowhere,” he said. “I mean my dad had a few health problems, but he was still pretty much really healthy so I was in shock for a few minutes, but within in a couple of minutes I made up my mind that I was going to fight. There was no way I could pull out.”
Shields will face Ellenberger at UFC Fight Night 25 this Saturday night at the Ernest N. Morial Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. Don’t forget to check back on FightLine.com for our live, ongoing coverage of the event.