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With Win at UFC 121, Jake Shields Likely to Fight for UFC Welterweight Title

Jake Shields has yet to enter the UFC octagon for the first time, but less than two weeks from his debut, UFC president Dana White has added an extra incentive for him to win.

According to White, Shields may well be the No. 1 contender in waiting.

"If Jake Shields wins against Martin Kampmann, it'll probably be him next," White said when asked about the next man in line to compete for the welterweight title after the scheduled Georges St. Pierre vs. Josh Koscheck title fight in December.

White made the remarks while flanked by St. Pierre and Koscheck during a press conference in Montreal for UFC 124.

Shields (25-4-1) is in the midst of an impressive 14-fight win streak, with wins over decorated veterans including Yushin Okami, Carlos Condit, Paul Daley, Robbie Lawler, Jason "Mayhem" Miller and Dan Henderson during that stretch.

In his last fight, which took place under the Strikeforce banner, he defeated Henderson by decision. It was the last fight under his contract, however, and despite being the Strikeforce middleweight champ, he abandoned the belt to sign with the UFC as a free agent. Upon moving to the UFC, he returned to the 170-pound division, in which he's spent most of his career.

Kampmann is 17-3 during his MMA career, and is 4-1 since moving to the welterweight division. In his last two fights, he stopped Jacob Volkman with a guillotine before earning a decision over durable Brazilian Paulo Thiago.

White didn't say that Kampmann would move to the front of the line if he defeated Shields, but a win over the UFC newcomer -- a former EliteXC and Strikeforce champion -- would certainly help his case.

In August, White said that the winner of a Jon Fitch-Thiago Alves fight would be the next in line. He didn't elaborate on whether Shields would bypass the winner, Fitch, or whether he'd be next after Fitch. The UFC has had two contenders waiting in line together in the past, and currently has the same situation in its heavyweight division, where Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos have both earned title shots. Velasquez's comes at UFC 121.

Ironically, Shields-Kampmann is the co-main event of UFC 121, which takes place on October 23 from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

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