UFC president Dana White saw cutting Jake Shields as more than just a smart business decision.
Shields, who was released by the promotion on Monday, is a former title contender and ex-Strikeforce champion. He is also just a few months removed from putting together back-to-back wins over Tyron Woodley and Demain Maia.
White, though, doesn’t believe Shields has what it takes to ever get back into contention in the UFC’s welterweight division.
“Where was he going in this division of animals we have?” asked White, during an interview with Yahoo! Sports. “He’s on the downswing and he’s never going to be the guy. His stand up never improved. He hasn’t really shown anything in his last couple of fights to make you go, ‘Holy (expletive).’
“Right now, at this point, he’s just another guy.”
Shields (29-7-1) turned 35 in January and lost a decision to Hector Lombard last month. He went 4-3 with one no-contest in his UFC career.
“(MMA) is a young man’s game,” White said. “I like Jake Shields a lot. We look at everything (in releasing a fighter). Money has something to do with it. But that wasn’t the only reason or the main reason.”