Former title contender Jake Shields released from the UFC

Once a top challenger to the title, now Jake Shields finds himself out of the UFC 

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For the better part of five years, Jake Shields was one of the best welterweight fighters in the world just clamoring for a chance to get to the UFC so he could face the other top 170 pounders and ascend to the top of the division.

When he finally arrived, Shields was greeted by a shark pit of a division where his 15-fight win streak came to an end with back-to-back losses to Georges St-Pierre and Jake Ellenberger. Shields climbed back into the contender’s race with three more wins including victories over top 10 fighters Tyron Woodley and Demian Maia, but following a recent loss to Hector Lombard at UFC 171, the UFC has decided to relieve Shields of his duties.

The veteran fighter and former Strikeforce champion was released from his UFC contract on Monday after eight fights with the promotion.  MMAFighting first reported the news.

Shields was often considered one of the best grapplers in the sport, mixing an aggressive wrestling attack with a world class jiu-jitsu game.  The UFC gave him much tougher challenges, but Shields still managed to retain his spot as one of the best fighters in the world.

Just one fight ago, Shields headlined a card in Brazil where he bested fellow submission expert Demian Maia in a five round battle between the two welterweight competitors.

Now Shields finds himself on the outside looking in following only one loss in the UFC after a four fight undefeated streak seemingly had him back in title contention.