Jake Shields in Detail
Main Titles/Grappling Record
- Pan American Champion (2005 purple);
- ADCC Bronze Medallist (2005);
- Gracie Open Superfight Champion (2007)
Weight Division (BJJ): Peso Medio (82kg-181lbs)
Favourite Position/Technique: Single Leg Takedown and Guillotine
Team/Association: Cesar Gracie
Jake Shields Biography
Jake Shields was born on the 9th of January, 1979 in Mountain Ranch, California – United States. He grew up somewhat isolated, living in the Sierra Nevada Mountains where he was home-schooled by his parents most of the time. Living out in the mountains, Jake shields and his brothers developed a great love for the outdoors and for adventure sports, mountain biking, caving and snowboarding were amongst their day to day activities it was also here, at the early stages of his life that Jake developed his love for Vegetarianism.
Shields got into wrestling when he started attending middleschool, following the footsteps of one of his older brothers. He competed throughout middle-school, high school and college. In the late 1990’s he started training kickboxing at the SLO Kickboxing Academy in San Luis Obispo, California, where he met future UFC all of fame, Chuck Liddell. It was also then that Jake Shields started his MMA career, getting paid $200 to fight.
He joined the San Francisco State University on a Wrestling Scholarship while caring for his newborn baby daughter, and started really focussing on his MMA career. He joined the Cesar Gracie gym by chance, as it was very close to his house, and there he met a group of people that would change his life, Gilbert Melendez and Nick Diaz. Nick Diaz brought his younger brother Nate Diaz and the 4 would form a tight camaraderie that would last for years to come.
In 2005 Jake had one of his best BJJ competitive years. Reaching the gold medal at the purple belt division in the Pan American championships and later that year reaching the semi final of the worlds most prestigious submission grappling event, the ADCC (Abu Dabhi Combat Club) where he defeated 4 time World Cup Champion, Leonardo Santos.
Living with a young daughter in one of the Worlds most expensive cities (San Francisco) took its toll, and Jake had to find fights consistently in order to survive, going against the wishes of his family who wanted Jake Shields to find a normal job. The fact that Shields is regarded as a conservative fighter did not help him get a decent pay, when compared to the more exciting fighters in the division who would more recklessly “slug it out”. It wasn’t until he was called to fight at the Elice XC in 2007 that he made his first decent pay check.
Jake stayed with Elite XC being undefeated in the organization. He was later contacted by Strikeforce, another up and coming MMA organization. Fighting for Strikeforce he reached the Middleweight Championship, defeating the legendary fighter Dan Henderson by unanimous decision for the title. One of Jake Shield’s highest career moments would be blemished by a fight that occurred only moments after his hand was raised while still on the cage. Jason Miller, a fighter Jake had defeated only 5 months before the Henderson fight came up on the cage to challenge Shields for a rematch. The tight unite that is the Cesar Gracie camp did not like the way Jason introduced himself, and a big scramble occurred live on television. The fight was separated, but a big stain remained in Jake Shields highest moment to that date.
As the Dan Henderson fight was the last in Jake Shields’s contract with Strikeforce, he moved to the UFC where he dropped again to the Welter Weight division, the weight division where he first started his MMA career.
Today Jake Shields calls his style of fighting American Jiu Jitsu, a fluid mix of BJJ and Wrestling, picking up the best of both worlds.
Jake Shields vs Jon Fitch
Jake Shields vs. Jon Fitch gracie open 2007
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