Jake Shields (27-6-1) vs. Ed “Short Fuse” Herman (20-7-0)

Jake Shields is returning to a division that arguably made him a star against one of the most underrated fighters at middleweight. While this fight is not being talked about too much in terms of where it places either of them at 185, you could easily see the winner facing a top contender. Shieleds has already confessed to taking Herman “lightly” until he watched footage on him. Herman on the other hand said he is comfortable as the underdog, because he knows the pressure is not on him.

Since Jake Shields has come to the UFC, he’s kind of floundered. After squeaking out a decision over Martin Kampmann, he was beaten down by welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre. After that he was knocked out by Jake Ellenberger, and was barely able to beat Yoshihiro Akiyama. What many people don’t know is at 185 he is a completely different fighter. In Strikeforce he was actually the middleweight champion by taking out Robbie Lawler, Jason Miller, and current light-heavyweight number one contender Dan Henderson. At 185 Jake is just much stronger, his cardio does not suffer from a weight cut, and his grappling is much more effective since middleweight in known for strikers.

Ed Herman has always been a decent fighter, but his career has been marred by injuries. After a weak start to his octagon career Herman won three straight fights with finishes. Then the injuries started to mount after a loss to Demian Maia, and especially after he blew out his knee against Aaron Simpson. Two years later and he was finally able to return. After becoming the only man to finishes Tim Creduer by punches, he then he took a short notice fight and submitted Kyle Noke, and went on to submit professional newcomer Clifford Starks. Hermans’s strength comes from his strong grappling base, and recently added power to his hands. If he can beat Shields it will be his fourth straight win which is uncommon at 185.

The Bottom Line: If Shields has admitted to sleeping on Herman it will be even worse when he gets into the octagon. Herman is going to out strike Shields, until he shoots to take it to the ground, and Herman can use his great transitions to submit Shields in the second round.