The UFC 150 event will feature a middleweight matchup between TUF 3 alum Ed Herman and former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields. It will be the first middleweight fight for Shields in over two years and will be his first in the UFC. I think this will be a good fight so let’s see how this one breaks down.
Jake Shields (27-6-1) comes into this fight off his unanimous decision victory over Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 144. Shields had dropped back-to-back fights competing as a welterweight, including his title fight against Georges St. Pierre at UFC 129. Shields is a submission/grappling specialist and has 10 wins via submission and three wins via TKO. Shields has rudimentary stand up skills and really looks to take his opponents down and submit them or grind out a decision win. I’m curious to see how his cardio looks with the move up in weight.
Ed Herman (20-7) comes into this fight off his submission win over Clifford Starks at UFC 143. Herman has quietly won three consecutive fights while finishing all three opponents. He has won 12 fights via submission and six via TKO/KO in his career. Herman was more of a grappling/submission guy early in his career, but he has really worked on his striking over the past few years and it has improved by leaps and bounds. Herman has been prone to submissions in the past and has shown cardio issues in a few of his fights in the past.
Our sponsor Top Bet has Shields as the slight betting favorite at (-180) and Herman as the underdog at (+150).
I like those odds for Herman. We saw Shields struggle in his welterweight debut in the UFC after making the move from middleweight and I think we’ll see similar struggles in his first fight back as a middleweight. Shields has to get his fight to the ground if he wants to win as Herman is certainly the better striker and will have a reach advantage.
According to Fightmetric, Herman is better everywhere in regards to being the more accurate striker as well as takedown success and takedown defense. I really think Herman has the tools to beat Shields, but Shields has shown the innate ability to find a way to win and that will be the case particularly if Herman’s cardio isn’t up to par. If Shields is able to get Herman to the ground I do think it’s highly likely that Shields will be able to control him and/or possibly submit him as Herman tends to lose focus on the ground and times and opens up submission opportunities. If he’s not able to get Herman down though I don’t see him winning this fight.
Herman should simply sprawl and brawl Chuck Liddell style in this one. He could probably take Shields down if he wanted, but I would avoid going to the ground with Shields as his submission game is his bread and butter. His striking has improved and he has developed some power over the last couple of years as well. He shouldn’t throw any kicks that would make him susceptible to takedowns and simply work his jab and combinations from distance with his reach advantage. If he’s able to avoid takedowns and work use his reach advantage effectively, I think he’ll win a decision or potentially stop Shields via TKO.