Being a Bay Area site doesn't necessarily mean each writer is totally devoted and a fan of each player/fighter/team in the region. In fact, SB Nation was built on quality fan coverage, and we proudly continue that here at our little regional. Now, given that the title references San Francisco's Jake Shields, you might think that this piece is going to hard on him ...
Well you're right.
Shields should not be 2-2 in the UFC, for one. He should be 1-3 at best, and there's still an argument for him being 0-4 when you really think about it, but let's not pile it on anymore than it actually needs. His run in Strikeforce was impressive, and his 15-fight win streak only included a couple no-name guys. Wins over guys like Dan Henderson and Jason Miller were certainly something to hang his hat on.
But when he came into the UFC, he took on Martin Kampmann, and was given a split decision victory. It's hard to see how Shields won that fight, given that he simply held a dominant position for portions of time mixed in with him getting the tar beat out of him. Kampmann fought a very stupid gameplan - something he's very prone to doing - so there's not a whole lot of sympathy, but Shields got a title shot based on a very poor performance.
And then of course, he lost that title fight, falling to unanimous decision to Georges St-Pierre. He won a round of that fight due to a major eye poke that shook GSP, but beyond that, there wasn't much else. His next fight was a 53-second TKO loss to Jake Ellenberger, so there's that. Then you get his fight against Yoshihiro Akiyama, which was basically a gimmie fight at this point.
Naturally, Shields won a very narrow decision in which many people thought Akiyama won on account of Shields not ... doing anything. Now, having not gone back to watch that fight since it was on, he gets a pass here. Let's call it 1-3 in our book. Now he's got a fight against Ed Herman at Middleweight.
It's unlikely he'll be cut if he loses to Herman but his time as a contender at any weight class is basically over if he doesn't come out victorious. Many of the bigger-named guys had to pass through Herman, such as Alan Belcher and Demian Maia. Even Kendall Grove had to get through him to get, you know, a UFC contract following TUF 3.
Rooting for someone to lose is a rare occurrence here. We're not going to be hoping Shields loses, we just wouldn't be surprised, given just how quickly he's flamed out since coming to the UFC. If Hector Lombard wasn't well on his way to the preliminary card, we'd be talking about Shields as potentially one of the biggest disappointments when it comes to hype and pedigree coming into the UFC.