This Week’s MMA Birthdays: Jake Shields Turns 35

By Brian Knapp Jan 6, 2014
Jake Shields turns 35 this week. | Photo: Keith Mills/

A former EliteXC, Shooto and Strikeforce champion who has been on the mixed martial arts scene for nearly 15 years, Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight Jake Shields will celebrate his 35th birthday on Jan. 9.

Between Nov. 12, 2005 and Oct. 23, 2010, Shields rattled off 15 consecutive victories across two weight classes, emerging as one of the sport’s top pound-for-pound competitors. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Cesar Gracie, the Summertown, Tenn., native owns wins over onetime World Extreme Cagefighting champion Carlos Condit, former two-division Pride Fighting Championships titleholder Dan Henderson, American Top Team’s Robbie Lawler and recent World Series of Fighting signee Yushin Okami. Shields last appeared at UFC Fight Night 29 in October, when he recorded a split decision over 2007 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist Demian Maia at the Jose Correa Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

On a modest two-fight winning streak, Shields will return to the Octagon at UFC 171 on March 15, when he collides with Hector Lombard at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas.

Those in MMA celebrating a birthday during the week covering Jan. 5-Jan. 11:

JAN. 5

John Gunderson (35)
Takahiro Suzuki (27)

JAN. 6

Kalib Starnes (39)
Wilson Reis (29)

JAN. 8

Tara LaRosa (36)
Ertan Balaban (31)

JAN. 9

Pete Spratt (43)
Jake Shields (35)

JAN. 10

Mickey Hughes (35)
Matt Brown (33)

JAN. 11

Rafael Cavalcante (33)
Muhammed Lawal (33)
Peter Sobotta (27)

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