After news broke earlier this week relating to the passing of Jack Shields, friend, father, and long-time manager of welterweight Jake Shields, it would have been understandable if the former Strikeforce champ had opted out of a scheduled scrap with Jake Ellenberger on September 17 at the UFC Battle on the Bayou.
“Jack would often make the long drive from his home to watch Jake practice and was always at Jake’s fights. He was part of our team and we will miss him,” read an official statement on the GracieFighter website in regards to his death.
However, it appears Shields will in fact remain on the card and plans to fight in what has to be seen as a fitting tribute to a man who was instrumental in the talented grappler’s career from his beginnings as an amateur wrestler to becoming one of the top Mixed Martial Artists competing today.
News of the decision was first reported by MMAJunkie.
Shields holds an overall record of 26-5-1 including wins over some of the sport’s best including Carlos Condit, Yushin Okami, and Dan Henderson. He had won fifteen straight fights before suffering a decision loss to Georges St. Pierre earlier this year.
His bout with the 24-5 Ellenberger headlines an event also featuring inspirational Ultimate Fighter winner Court McGee in action (vs. Dongi Yang) and Alan Belcher’s return to the ring after suffering what was nearly a career-ending eye injury (vs. Jason MacDonald).
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC