Jake Shields is back in action for the first time since getting quickly KO’d by Jake Ellenberger back in September. He’ll be welcoming Yoshihiro Akiyama into the sharktank that is the UFC’s 170 pound division, and most people are expecting him to make short work of the Japanese star. Our sister-site MMA Training has Jake Shields talking about that fight, and it also has his thoughts on how his teammate Nick Diaz did against Carlos Condit:

“It was definitely a close and controversial fight,” opined Shields. “To be honest with you I really thought Nick won the fight. I don’t think you can win a fight by running for five rounds the way Condit did. The judges and Joe Rogan thought differently and although Condit landed more strikes most of them were leg kicks that inflicted little to no damage. Diaz was the aggressor and controlled the pace of the fight. It’s just one of those fights that everyone has their own opinion on. I’m not sure if he’ll fight again, he’s a good friend of mine and I certainly hope he’ll come back. He does what he wants to do and it’s is his choice. He’s young and he’s a great fighter, but he does things on his own terms.”

When pushed for an opinion on if he thought Nick would return:

“He’s calmed down, I think he’s gonna fight again. He’s been a little burned out. They’ve been fighting him like crazy, keeping him busy. I think he needs a little break. Unfortunately he’ll probably be suspended for a little while but I think the time off will make him love the sport again and make him wanna get back in there.”

Nothing like a year long suspension to make your heart grow fonder for the sport you’ve abandoned. Fortunately, Nick’s pot-smoking ways seem to be his built in coping mechanism for burn-out. Every couple of years it gives him a well-earned vacation.