Jake Shields Officially Signs With the UFC, Joins Welterweight Division (Updated)

Written by Tim Ngo
July 16th, 2010

Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Jake Shields

Jake Shields has officially signed with the world’s premier MMA promotion. After months of discussions, the Cesar Gracie trained fighter will leave Strikeforce and fight inside the Octagon.

GracieFighter.com broke the news earlier this morning about Shields’ change of scenery and also announced that he’ll be dropping back down to 170-pounds.

Here’s the announcement that was made earlier:

“Jake Shields will be debuting at the 170lbs weight division in the UFC. After careful consideration and consulting with UFC representatives it was determined Jake would be finally going back to his original fighting weight.

Jake’s opponent is one of the UFC’s top contenders and will be announced shortly.”

Shields leaves Strikeforce as their reigning 185-pound champion and will now look to add the UFC’s welterweight belt to his trophy case. Although, there is some stiff competition in that stacked division – including the baddest 170-pounder on the planet in Georges St-Pierre.

It was initially thought that Shields might stay at the middleweight division, but it seems as though he heeded Dana White’s advice. The UFC president previously suggested the smaller weight class was best suited for Shields.

Between getting a bigger contract and a chance to prove himself as one of the sport’s best fighters, it was a no-brainer for Shields to make the jump.

UPDATE: SI.com’s Josh Gross tweets that Shields has not signed a contract yet, but that he has agreed to the financial terms of the deal. He’s expected to sign sometime next week.

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