(209 bros before French-Canadian foes.)
Jake Shields‘ coach Cesar Gracie was on Sherdog’s The Savage Dog Show today and one of the topics he touched on was his disagreement with his cousin Renzo Gracie over his decision to help Georges St-Pierre prepare for his upcoming UFC 129 bout with longtime Gracie jiu-jitsu student and black belt Jake Shields this weekend.
According to Cesar, it was wrong for Renzo to help St-Pierre train as he is a relatively new student of the New York-based instructor and he feels that he should be looking out for his committed Gracie family members first and foremost.
“Renzo’s like a brother to me. You gotta understand, we grew up together. We really did. So nothing’s gonna change [between us]. People try to make a big thing about it. I did have a talk with Renzo and I said, “Renzo, you’re training a guy that doesn’t represent your academy, he represents another academy, to fight against a Gracie Academy. It doesn’t make sense to me. It just doesn’t Georges is a great guy.From al accounts, he’s respectful and a decent human being from what I’m understanding. And I said to Renzo, ‘If you had a talk with Georges St-Pierre and said, you’re one of our black belts, you’re going to have to represent us,’” Gracie said. “I think he would do it in a heartbeat.I did have that discussion with him, but I really don’t know what came about with it. People try to make a big thing about it, but I’m an old school guy. I really am. When Georges St-Pierre was training at Renzo’s to fight Matt Serra, who I think was the first black belt Renzo gave out in the U.S… I couldn’t imagine a guy coming in and training with me to beat one of my black belts. I just couldn’t do it. I don’t know exactly what they’re doing over there with that, but it’s just not my way. I’m old school and I’m gonna die old school. That’s just how I am. So I made my feelings known to Renzo about it and I don’t think my guys appreciate it. Frankie Edgar‘s there too and he’s a really great kid. He came out to my place and he’s a really hard worker. He came out to train for the BJ Penn fight. I refused to have my guys train with BJ for that fight and they had trained with him for the Florian fight and maybe one fight before that fight when BJ needed help and was trying to get his career back on track. Nick Diaz was training with BJ Penn and there was good sparring. They called us up to train with him for the last Edgar fight and we said no, because he was fighting a kid who represented the Gracie Academy in New York. I’m old school, but now with this fight…It’s not about teaching a guy, because they’re professional athletes and they’re gonna have to fight. They didn’t grow up together or nothing like that. But me being an old school guy, I just look at it like you gotta carry our flag to battle and if you can’t carry our flag to battle, you aren’t training with us. It’s just how I look at it.”
As far as beating St-Pierre, who has won his last 30 straight rounds, Gracie says they feel that the game plan is simple: frustrate GSP on his feet and when the fight hits the floor, tap him out.
“[He has to] beat him. He’s got to tap him out. He’s gonna have to get in there and dictate the pace. That’s the biggest thing. You can’t stand in front of Georges St-Pierre. You stand in front and his speed is gonna get you. He’s too quick. He’s gonna jab, his little, whatever they call it, Superman punch or whatever. People get caught when they’re standing there lookin’ at him. If you hesitate with that guy, he’s going to pull the trigger and that’s how he punishes people and ends up winning fights. We saw it time and time again. We saw it with Fitch, we saw it with Koscheck. When he can’t win the stand-up battle, that’s when he resorts to taking people down,” Gracie points out. “He takes them down, he punishes them on the ground, he establishes control. He’s got a great top game and a phenomenal jiu-jitsu coach in John Danaher and he doesn’t get tapped out. That’s his MO right there. So what does Jake do? Jake doesn’t have the speed he has on the feed. He’s gonna have to mix it up and have GSP commit. He’s gonna have to get the tie-up, he’s gonna have to clinch and he’s gonna have to take him into enemy territory on the ground where Jake feels very good and he’s gonna have to submit that little French-Canadian. That’s about it.”
Gracie also touched on the news that he was unable to travel to Canda to corner Shields, chalking it up to the fact that he left the paperwork to the last minute, having not anticipated the fact that because he was a landed immigrant from Brazil, the Canadian immigration authorities would not readily rubber-stamp his passport.
“It’s not that easy for us non-Americans to go up there. There’s like a Visa process you have to go through. There’s a little bit of a roadblock there, but it’s no big deal. We’ve got excellent representation. We sent Nick Diaz, which I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing,” Gracie explained. “The big thing is I hope he’s not arrested up there if something happens.”