Shields got the win Saturday at UFC 150, but his return to 185
pounds wasn’t an especially entertaining one.
He won a grinder, outpointing Ed Herman on
the judges’ scorecards for a unanimous decision. Afterward he
attributed his sluggish performance to the altitude in Denver, and
Gracie sounds confident that his fighter will eventually settle
back into the weight division where he once beat Dan
“When Jake went down to 170, it was not as great as I think he
could have been,” Gracie told the Sherdog
Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “He had some really hard
weight cuts. He’s not a huge 185-pounder was the only concern that
I have. … His last fight, I could see Ed Herman was a
bigger guy than him. He definitely didn’t look like the Jake I know
in the gym, for example. I think there was a lot of nerves on him,
changing weight classes. … It takes a while to make the UFC your
home. I think he’s settling in and I think pretty soon we’re going
to have the Jake Shields
we’ve seen in so many memorable contests, where he’s tapping people
out with some pretty cool moves.”
Shields had top control several times against Herman but couldn’t
put him away. The fight also stalled out in the clinch, too, though
Herman was often the one initiating the position.
“I think people have seen some really great fights of Jake’s where
he’s tapped people out with one-arm guillotines and stuff from the
mount and all these other things he’s done, armlocks and
everything, and I think for Jake, he needs to really get back into
that, to finishing,” Gracie said. “We’re not going to change a
tiger at this point in the game. We have to [say], ‘Look, Jake.
This is what got you here. It’s finishing people. You’re a
world-class grappler. Let’s focus on finishing.’”
Still, entertaining or not, Shields beat Herman, who didn’t fight
well but remains a quality opponent.
“This guy’s scrappy,” Gracie said of Herman. “He’ll just kind of
keep moving. He’s just kind of awkward and just a tough guy in
general. You’ve got to get past a guy like that if you want to get
into contention. You have to beat these guys. Jake got past him.
Now he can settle in a little bit and focus on doing something
It’s not clear whom Shields will meet next, but Yushin Okami
was also victorious on the card Saturday. Gracie watched the fight
wondering if that might be the UFC’s plan: a Shields-Okami
“There’s so many great 185-pounders,” Gracie said. “Jake has
already fought Okami. Jake beat Okami. Hopefully they’re going to
give him somebody else, is what I’m hoping for, but like I said, I
wouldn’t be surprised if they did want that matchup.”
Listen to the full
interview (beginning at 1:28:10).