During the fight, UFC commentator Mike Goldberg talked a bit about Shields feeling better fighting at 185lbs. and mentioned that Shield's believed we hadn't seen "the real him" in the cage yet. Now, I'm not sure if the Shields we saw tonight was "the real Jake Shields," as it was not a totally impressive victory, but it was Shields' most decisive victory since entering the UFC.
Herman had some success in the first round in the clinch and scattered success throughout the fight with his stand-up, but Shields was able to spend the majority of the fight maintaining top control and that was enough to earn a decision.
Some were disappointed in the victory, expressing that Herman is an opponent Shields should have been able to finish.
Regardless, Shields is back in middleweight division and he's sitting pretty on a fresh win.
So, what's next for him?
I would love to see a fight with Hector Lombard.
After tonight we have a lot of questions about Shields. For instance, how would he fare against a better and harder striker and how would he do against a fighter with better takedown defense. Lombard is a fighter who has both better striking and better takedown defense than Herman. He is a logical choice to test Shields' abilities against higher-level talent.
That said, as a new addition to the division, there are lots of fights that make sense for Shields.
Rousimar Palhares is a great one. Both men are jiu-jitsu specialists and watching them have at it on the ground would be awesome to see.
Yushin Okami makes a lot of sense given that he is also a high-tier middleweight and was also victorious at UFC.
Rich Franklin would also be an interesting opponent. He's a well-rounded guy with good punching power, lots of experience and he's also trying to make his way towards the title.
Things are looking good for Shields. After a rough go at welterweight, he's back where he belongs, back in the win column, and there are lots of interesting fights out there for him.
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