Surprised by Jake Shields’ release? He was too

The writing is on the wall, and we all know it – fight fun, fight hard, bite down on that mouthpiece, bang on your chest and show that you’re a ‘warrior’ and you’ll be kept around. Grind out wins over the top opponents and you’ll be cut off one loss after not losing for years. It’s a bummer, and allegory for the injustices of life, but it’s also a stark reality.

If you were surprised by Jake Shields’ cut from the UFC, you shouldn’t have been. But then again, maybe you should’ve, because Jake was.

Ariel Helwani spoke to Jake’s manager, Lex McMahon and he had a lot to say. This was transcribed by Shaun Al-Shatti for MMAFighting.

“I think, obviously, Jake was disappointed, he is a guy who for many years has been a champion, fought on a championship level, been top ranked. He was on a four-fight win streak prior to the Lombard loss, so I think it was something that took him by surprise, but he’s prepared to move forward.”

“To lose one fight and then all of a sudden be out of a job was something that I believe was surprising and not contemplated. To be honest, we were really positioned and looking for Jake as a potential title contender, given the mix of the landscape after Georges retired. Jake had beaten pretty much everybody that was out there. He beat Condit, he beat Woodley, he beat Maia. So really, there wasn’t too many other options. With the right performance, I think (he could’ve been fighting for the title).

“It just shows you the nature of this sport. The right performance, he potentially fights for the title. The wrong performance, he’s looking for a new job.”

“Listen, the UFC, it’s their organization. They have the liberty to do with it what they will,” McMahon said. “Certainly it’s surprising, but at the end of the day everybody knows the type of fights that they like to see. Jake grinds out wins, but the bottom line is that he wins, and he wins at a very high level. He beats some of the best guys out there.

“I certainly fought for Jake. Unfortunately, Dana and Lorenzo and Joe Silva had made up their minds, and at the end of the day it’s their company and they do what they decide to do.”