Are you game tonight to watch one of the world’s top welterweights ply his trade? He’s a proven winner, who had his hand raised in four of his last five MMA bouts. He was a champion in several organizations, and a title contender in others. He’s lost by finish just twice in 28 pro MMA bouts, and boasts wins over everyone from Demian Maia to Dan Henderson to Carlos Condit.
MMA World Series of Fighting hopes so, as that man, Jake Shields, headlines WSOF 14 against Ryan Ford in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
His last employer, of course, didn’t think you would.
The UFC cut Shields after a grinding decision loss to Hector Lombard at UFC 171.
(It was clearly not just the loss though. Maybe it was Shields’ own fighting style. Maybe it was the Northern Californian’s failed drug test, which turned his victory against Ed Herman into a no-contest.
Shields isn’t looking back.
The fighter told MMA Junkie Radio Wednesday, after the ups and downs of a fifteen year MMA career, that he’s “got the hunger back.”
“It was a combination of things,” Shields explained. “Dealing with losing my dad (in 2011), and it’s been a long career, and I was a little burned out — but I’m motivated again and excited to get back out there.”
He’s also focused on his opponent Ford, a winner of his last six MMA bouts, and nine of his last ten — who will be fighting in front of his home crowd in Canada.
“He’s a tough, dangerous guy,” Shields admits to MMA Fighting. “He’s aggressive, he’s got like 20 finishes, so you can see he’s dangerous. I’ve certainly fought guys like him before, but he’s not someone you want to take lightly. He’s got a lot of knockout power and he has submissions. He’s someone you’ve got to watch out for everything.”
It’s been confirmed that the winner of this bout will receive a title shot against the winner of the upcoming Rousimar Palhares vs. Jon Fitch fight.
WSOF 14 will be broadcast tonight on NBC Sports Network at 9 pm ET.