Strikeforce is being forced to get creative as to who they pit their welterweight stud Jake Shields against. While the UFC is hoarding the majority of the world’s top ten 170-pounders, Strikeforce is resorting to having Shields fight Robbie Lawler at a catch-weight of 182 pounds. After that, Shields is eying the universe’s top ranked lightweight, Shinya Aoki.
“Aoki is a guy I’d like to fight, and Strikeforce has mentioned him as a potential opponent,” Shields stated.
If Strikeforce is able to make that happen, they would have successfully kept Shields occupied for roughly eight months without competing in his welterweight division.
That may be fine and dandy for the organization, however it doesn’t help Shields’ legacy one bit. He has always claimed that he wanted to face the world’s elite to validate his skills, but Strikeforce just does not have the talent in their 170-pound pool to legitimize Shields’ abilities.
Originally, Shields was supposed to face former UFC fighter Joe Riggs, instead of Lawler, at Strikeforce’s May event. At the time, that was the best the promotion could come up with, and Shields was willing to roll with that. Kind of.
“Personally, I was never really excited about it,” Shields said. “I said I would do it because I’ll fight anyone they want, but the fight doesn’t get me too excited.”
Another name that Strikeforce has thrown at him is former UFC welterweight top contender Frank Trigg. The two have had a war of words in the past, however facing a 35-year-old that is well past his prime will not cement Shields’ legacy either.
If Strikeforce intends to keep Shields, they will need to find him quality opponents. Otherwise Shields will seek it out himself when his contract expires.