middleweight champion Jake Shields
will return to 185 pounds in 2012,
UFC officials confirmed on Tuesday night.
The news was first reported on Fuel TV’s “UFC Tonight.” Shields’
first UFC middleweight appearance is expected to come this summer,
though it has not officially been announced by the promotion.
Shields had competed for the UFC at 170 pounds after joining the
promotion in 2010, edging a game Martin
Kampmann via split decision before challenging Georges St.
Pierre for the UFC welterweight crown nearly one year ago at
After dropping a unanimous decision to St. Pierre, the Cesar
Gracie pupil suffered a second straight loss for the first time
in his career, falling by knockout to Jake
Ellenberger this past September in the Fight
Night 25 headliner. Shields rebounded from the defeat, however,
Akiyama at UFC
144 in his most recent outing on Feb. 26.
Prior to his time in the Octagon, Shields was a decorated
competitor in several promotions, winning the Shooto
168-pound championship in 2004. The Californian would go on to
become the first and last EliteXC
welterweight king, as well as the Strikeforce middleweight titlist,
capturing the latter belt in 2009 with a victory over Jason Miller
and successfully defending it the following year against Dan