Does Jake Shields still deserve a title shot after his UFC 121 performance?

Jake Shields' trainer, Cesar Gracie, comments on his student's UFC 121 performance against Martin Kampmann Saturday night in Anaheim. Photo by FIGHT! Magazine

There are critics who will undoubtedly say that former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields does not deserve a shot at the UFC 170-pound gold after his performance against Martin Kampmann Saturday night at UFC 121 in Anaheim.

Although Shields defeated Kampmann, he was visibly gassed and it was not a dominating victory, ultimately ending in a split decision. However, Shields’ trainer, Cesar Gracie, does bring up some good points. “That was not the Jake Shields that I know,” said Gracie. “I saw Shields at his worst tonight. And at his worst, he is still a winner.”

Gracie also reminds us about the pressure Shields was under in this fight and even Shields alluded to the “first time UFC jitters” being more pronounced than he had anticipated. Gracie also reminds us about how “Shogun” Rua looked in his first couple of UFC fights when he got beat by Forrest Griffin, and had trouble with a 40-something Mark Coleman. “Now look at him,” he says. “He’s the UFC champion.”

The man has a point. Not to mention the significant weight cut Shields had to endure, dropping from 185 lbs. to 170 lbs. in a matter of months. It would be a little different if the guy was a little over weight, but his percentage of body fat was already practically non-existent.

What are your thoughts readers, does Jake Shields still deserve a title shot?  Write a 500-word or less argument to state your case that we can publish and we will send you a free UFC DVD. The person who proves their case the best and has the best written article (that means proper grammar and use of spellcheck) will win.