UFC 121 recap Jakes Shields versus Martin Kampmann

Former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields out-grappled Martin Kampmann on the ground and survived his strikes on the feet, as he earned a split decision in his Octagon debut. Two of the three judges sided with Shields by 30-27 and 29-28 scores; a third saw it 29-28 for Kampmann.

Shields took down and mounted the Xtreme Couture Mixed Martial Arts standout in each of the first two rounds but tired noticeably as the fight advanced, perhaps hindered by the weight cut to 170 pounds. Seemingly in position to spring the upset, Kampmann — who popped Shields with a pair of knees from the clinch earlier in the fight — got caught playing to his opponent’s strength in the third. Ultimately, Shields trapped the Dane in a body triangle and threatened him with a rear-naked choke as the bout came to a close.

A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Cesar Gracie, Shields has won 15 consecutive fights. The 31-year-old Californian has not tasted defeat in nearly six years and will likely find himself on a short list for potential contenders to welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre’s throne.

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