UFC 121: Jake Shields vs. Martin Kampmann Prediction

UFC Welterweight bout:  Jake Shields vs. Martin Kampmann

Odds:  ( -215 Shields / +175 Kampmann )

Betting Pick:  Jake Shields

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In the semi-main event, former Strikeforce Middleweight champion Jake Shields makes his UFC debut, and his return to the Welterweight division, against top contender Martin Kampmann. Shields is undoubtedly one of the premier ground fighters in the world, but doesn’t have much standup to back it up, while Kampmann is one of the most well-rounded guys in the division. With the winner of this fight likely recieving a title shot, this is one of the most important fights of both men’s careers.

Kampmann, who originally made a name for himself at Middleweight, has looked like a monster since making the move to 170. Very few fighters at any weight are as well-rounded as Kampmann, who has great wrestling, great submissions, and great kickboxing. There are no huge holes in his game at all, and while he may not be the most dominant guy in the world at any one thing, his ability to fight in any range and put a complete fight game together is nearly unmatched.

Unlike Kampmann, who thrives in every area, Jake Shields is a specialist. His standup is rudimentary at best, but his wrestling and especially his submissions are extremely difficult for anyone to deal with. In his last fight he pulled off a spectacular upset against Dan Henderson, surviving a vicious first round beating and then coming back and dominating the last four rounds on the ground to earn the decision and the Strikeforce title.

This fight is going to come down to how effectively Shields can take the fight to the ground and keep it there. Kampmann will absolutely light him up on the feet, but if Shields can work from top position on the ground he should be able to keep Kampmann off his game and earn the decision. After the way he handled Henderson at a higher weight, I think Shields has to be considered the favorite here. Off his back is the one area where Kampmann isn’t as dangerous, and Shields has the ability to put him on his back. Shields should control this one on the ground for an uneventful decision.

Prediction:  Jake Shields via unanimous decision.

To add a little excitement on fight night, you can bet on this fight at Sportsbook.com Odds.  They allow you to start with as little as $20, and you can bet on all of the fights for the night. Check out my review of Sportsbook here…