After former multi-divisional champ Jake Shields finally inked his UFC contract, most felt he was forced to enter the Octagon at 170 pounds because company president Dana White dropped his two cents on the matter.
Despite leaving Strikeforce as their middleweight title holder, Shields says he never felt the heat from company brass to take his talent down to Georges St-Pierre’s kingdom.
“I was pretty undecided the whole time. I just wanted big fights and I know GSP is tied up with the Koscheck fight, so I was thinking maybe going to 85 since my weight’s already up,” Shields told MMAWeekly.com.
“They called and asked if I wanted (Martin Kampmann) at 70 and I said sure. They didn’t give me any pressure, they gave me the option. Some people were saying I was forced to go down, which certainly wasn’t the case. They said I could fight at either weight, but they offered me a fight at 70 and I was like ‘I might as well jump and take it.'”
Another incentive to take the tango is that Kampmann is coming off the best performance of his solid career when he dominated the talented Paulo Thiago in his last outing. Although the victor of the UFC 117 rematch between Jon Fitch and Thiago Alves will likely get first dibs after Kos, it’s possible a spectacular finish here and an uneventful unanimous decision there, Shields could find himself in a 5Round affair just two bouts in to his new deal.
“Obviously if I’m close to getting a title shot it’s a huge factor,” Shields said of his decision. “I’m not really sure if this is going to be a number one contender’s fight or not, it hasn’t been mentioned to me, but there’s a good chance if I go out there and look really good doing it, it’s definitely a possibility.”
Shields puts his 14-fight winning streak on the line against the slugger in the biggest fight card of 2010 when “UFC 121: Lesnar vs. Velasquez” goes down October 23rd.