5 Things You Might Not Know About Jake Shields

By Guy Portman Oct 18, 2018


Jake Shields 33-10-1 (1 NC) is a 39-year-old veteran who has fought some of the biggest names in the sport. In his next appearance, the California native will rematch Ray Cooper III at PFL 10 on Oct. 20 at Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington D.C.

As the big day approaches, here are five things that you might not know about the Cesar Gracie Fight Team standout.

1. He was a talented wrestler.

Shields began wrestling at the age of nine. He went on to achieve considerable success in the sport. While studying at Calaveras High School, he claimed second place at the Amateur Athletic Union National Freestyle Championships. After high school, he attended Cuesta College, where he became a two-time junior college All-American wrestler. Shields’ other accolades in amateur wrestling include qualifying for the USA/FILA Nationals and the World Team Trials, in the junior and university men’s divisions.

2. He is a vegetarian.

Due to his moral principles, self-confessed animal lover Shields has abstained from eating meat his whole life. He once stated in an interview, “I’m a vegetarian and it’s always been a way of life. It seems normal.” It is his belief that the absence of meat in his diet has been beneficial to his cardio. In support of this claim, Shields points to other fighters who have asserted that embracing vegetarianism has benefitted their fitness. A vocal opponent of dog fighting, Shields has appeared in ads for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

3. He has won gold in four promotions.

Shields has held belts in the Shooto and EliteXC promotions. In 2006, Shields emerged triumphant from the Rumble on the Rock welterweight tournament. Shields was also the Strikeforce middleweight champion. He claimed gold by beating Jason Miller via unanimous decision in November 2009. In April 2011 at UFC 129, Shields, who was on a 15-fight win streak, challenged Georges St. Pierre for the Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight title. He lost the contest by unanimous decision. It was his first defeat in over six years.

4. He intervened to help a wounded Trump supporter.

In 2017, during a protest at Berkeley’s University of California, Shields found himself immersed in a riot that culminated in campus buildings being damaged after a controversial commentator was to speak at the campus. Shields had just left dinner in a nearby restaurant when he came across a man in a Trump hat “covered in blood” being attacked by protestors in masks. A disgusted Shields confronted the protestors and rebuked them for their violent behavior. The face-off, which was captured on camera, was posted on Twitter.

5. He is a decorated submission grappler.

Long-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Shields has a lengthy list of submission grappling accolades. In 2005, the then purple belt won gold at the Pan American Championships. That same year, Shields was awarded a bronze medal at the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship. Other notable grappling achievements include three Grapplers Quest Advance Champion titles and three Polaris first place finishes. Shields has even invented his own style of grappling, which is a no-gi mix of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu submissions and wrestling takedowns, throws and transitions. Shields, who has named his method “American Jiu-Jitsu,” has the words tattooed on his forearm.

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