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Jake Shields / JakeShields.com

Jake Shields will return to the ring to face-off against Jon Fitch on July 5, 2014. The event will air live on NBC Sports. At 35, Shields is known for his endurance, his expertise in grappling and his veg diet. Shields is a rare pro-athlete who has been a lifelong vegetarian. Fitch has also dabbled in a plant-powered diet in the past, but now is more of a flexitarian.

In a 2012 interview for Bloody Elbow, Fitch stated, “… I found out that going 100% vegan was good for me, but I was losing too much weight. I was at 183 pounds, walk-around weight, and that’s just too light for me. I don’t have enough mass. I like to be between 187-192.”

This isn’t the first time the two fighters have thrown punches. Shields won a bout against Fitch in the 2007 Gracie Open Superfight. The two match up nicely with similar numbers of wins and losses: 29 – 7 – 1 for Shields and 25 – 6 – 1 for Fitch.

THE SHIELDS REGIMEN

While training hard, Shields eats many meals a day. “I shoot for six meals a day,” he says. “Some days end up being a little more. Some days may be a little less. I don’t like to go very long without eating.”

Shields follows a general philosophy-of-eating that is echoed by many top athletes today. “Mainly try eating whole grains and non processed foods without preservatives and limit sugars,” he explains.

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Here is an example of a typical training-day meal plan for Shields:

DAY 1

Breakfast: Oatmeal with fruit or sweet maple syrup. tsp. ground flax seed, Favorite fruits are blueberries, strawberries, oranges, dried fruits and cantaloupes.

• Mid-morning snack: Nuts and various fruits.

• Lunch: A stir-fry dish with brown rice and vegetables& tofu. I’ll load up on whatever catches my attention in the supermarket, could be carrots, zucchini, spinach, broccoli or any other green veggie.

• Post-workout: A protein shake with Sun Warrior raw brown rice protein. add frozen fruit, ground flax or hemp seed

• Dinner: Bean & Rice burrito, with avocados, sauteed onions & peppers, and sweet potatoes.

• Late night: A snack of cereal with almond milk, rice milk or hemp milk.

To see Days 2, 3 and 4, click here.