After Jake Shields’ dominant performance against very tough Dan Henderson, one thing is for sure: Jake Shields is for real. During a first round which saw him nearly knocked out, Shields hung on for dear life. After surviving round one, he came out a renewed fighter in round two. Shields then dominated the next four rounds against an opponent twenty pounds heavier at fight time. So the question for Shields is who’s next? Shields is a free agent at a very opportune time. Strikeforce threw him to to the wolves figuring Henderson would destroy him. Now that Shields proved them wrong, will he get a hefty contract extension? What will Dana offer him to jump to the UFC? I think this is a no brainer. Shields will sign a multi-fight contract with the UFC and fight at his best weight, 170. The bigger question reamins is WHO will Shields fight? Some may feel he may need to beat a worthy opponent before stepping into deep waters with St. Pierre. However, Shields has proven himself already by dominating Henderson and submitting current UFC contender, Paul Daley. I say Shields will sign with UFC and will have a mega-fight with St. Pierre before Thanksgiving.
After Saturday’s UFC 112, I have begun to wonder what is next for some of the UFC 112 participants plus others in limbo. After the unexpected loss of his lightweight title, BJ Penn is now the hunter instead of the hunted. I expect BJ to get an immediate rematch sometime this summer with new Champ, Frankie Edgar, perhaps at the rumored August 28th card in Boston.
As for Anderson Silva? After his dominant performance, antics aside, I expect him to get in Dana’s good standing very soon and fight a worthy opponent. With Silva, there are many ways he can go. Will he try to retain his middleweight belt? Jump up to light heavywight? Jump way up to heavyweight? Jump down to fight GSP? Though this is a very tough call, I will predict he will fight GSP in a blockbuster fight at 170.
What about forgotten Frank Mir? After his dismal performance against Carwin, where does he go? He has called out Anderson Silva, if Silva chooses to move up. Why anybody would call out Anderson Silva is a mystery to me. Junior dos Santos is another one in limbo since Cain Velasquez is waiting for his title shot against either Brock or Carwin. Why not have a heavyweight eliminator? Mir vs. dos Santos would be a good way for Mir to redeem himself or fall into the abyss of the heavyweight division. For dos Santos, it would be his biggest test to date and a win would lock up a fight against the winner of Velasquez vs. Brock/Carwin.
This leaves GSP. What will GSP do if the mega fight with Silva doesn’t materialize? I for one think Jon Fitch should be next in line for the welterweight title shot, assuming he gets past a tough Thiago Alves. However, we saw this uncompelling fight before and what makes us think a second fight would be any better? GSP is too good for the welterweight division but would not be suited to move up to middleweight. So what does he do? If the Silva fight doesn’t happen, he will probably have to settle for the Koshchek/Daley winner. Yawn.