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Exclusive: Jake Shields Doesn’t Feel Like the Underdog Going Into UFC 129 Fight With GSP

Jake Shields talks UFC 129 vs Georges St. Pierre – Watch more Funny Videos

By CagePotato contributor Brian J. D’Souza

The April 30th UFC event at the Rogers Centre in Toronto will play host to pound-for-pound king Georges St. Pierre, a French-Canadian superstar who helps move everything from action figures to videogames for his UFC bosses. Jake Shields hasn’t quite reached that level of mainstream acclaim, but when he faces off with GSP at UFC 129, he’ll be carrying a 15-fight win streak thanks to an arsenal of tools that could be the wildcard against an experienced champion who has yet to show any stylistic weaknesses nor signs of decline.

Catching up with Shields during a tour of Ontario, the friendly Cesar Gracie team member seems to effortlessly surmount a packed schedule of seminars, media appearances, interviews, photo shoots and autograph requests with a smile and his positive attitude. A former welterweight champion in Elite XC and middleweight champion in Strikeforce, Jake wants to add the most important belt to his collection — the UFC 170-pound title.

Shields won’t play into a war of words with St. Pierre in the grand tradition of B.J. Penn, Dan Hardy and Josh Koscheck. “He’s a great guy. I don’t know him that well, so I’d have no reason to suspect him as being fake,” Shields says.

As he once told FIGHT! magazine’s Danny Acosta, “When you’ve been in fights, fighting 10 people at once, people with knives and bats and guns and whatnot, it definitely takes fear away in the cage,” however, on this day, Shields shied away from elaborating too much on his tumultuous youth.

“People would fight a lot in areas that I grew up in. People would pull knives, guns, bats — it was stupid, I was young back then. But it was just how it was when I was growing up.”

Many fans are underestimating or overlooking Shields, calling him an underdog. His best chance to win is to secure the takedown first, and prevent St. Pierre from scrambling back up to secure his own takedowns; being out-landed on the feet is another danger, as Kos could tell you. While April 30th will be the biggest night of Jake Shield’s career, if he does win, the UFC will have the same problem that arose with the passing of the 155-pound torch from established fan-favorite B.J. Penn to a less marketable champion in Frankie Edgar.

Shields could also be the fresh breath of air that the UFC needs. A win over Georges would lead to interesting match-ups at welterweight instead of predictable rematches between GSP and once or twice-beaten foes.

With 42,000 tickets available, Toronto’s Rogers Centre could be the launching ground for the next stage of Zuffa’s global expansion. UFC 129 is projected to break official attendance records, and GSP is one of the biggest pay-per-view draws in the UFC stable.

Jake Shields knows that he wants to use American jiu-jitsu to put GSP to sleep — hopefully, GSP counters without utilizing a Greg Jackson strategy that puts the audience to sleep.

Cagepotato Comments

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ccman- February 2, 2011 at 11:54 am
"Gsp is a really nice guy, can someone tell him I said that... please, don't let him hit meeeeee"
RearNakedSpoon- February 2, 2011 at 11:38 am
Jakes not an underdog, he is under the underdog.
Seems like a nice guy but he is going to lose.
Turd Furgeson- February 2, 2011 at 10:00 am

I saw my name in your comment so I skimmed it. It's pretty interesting to find out that Chuck Liddel fought Shields' two brothers in the IFL. I thought that was more like a team versus team thing. I never saw two on one matches.
tanglestrangle- February 2, 2011 at 9:45 am
Shields won all his fights on Bully Beatdown. He grew up in early to mid 90's a scary time when gangster rap took over MTV and the radio.
He grew up in Mountain Ranch in the Sierra Nevada Mountaints., area code 209, nearest city Stockton.
The answer for Turd is probably his two big brothers, maybe some friends.
One of these fights happened when he was 19 in college (1999) he and a friend were outnumbered and Chuck Liddell stepped in to help out. I read this in another interview, Chuck was a force in the small IFC, but not known much outside Cali.
Turd Furgeson- February 2, 2011 at 9:15 am
"When you’ve been in fights, fighting 10 people at once, people with knives and bats and guns and whatnot, it definitely takes fear away in the cage..."

My question is: How did he keep the other nine guys from stabbing/clubbing/ shooting him while he was layin on the first dude?

Could it be that Jake Sheildzzz lay and pray attack is so powerful that when engaging multiple opponents and he employs his technique on just one, that the rest automatically fall asleep?

Maybe GSP does have something to worry about.
halfbreed23- February 2, 2011 at 9:05 am
The assertion in the last paragraph is complete fiction.
RwilsonR- February 2, 2011 at 8:40 am
@ k-onda - I read your idea for a "tumultuous-youth-off" and thought it sounded awesome, thinking about guys like Nick Diaz and Chris Leben. But then I realized if it were a fair list, a guy like Nick Diaz wouldn't even be close to making the list. It would be dominated by guys like Thiago Silva growing up in the favelas of Brazil, whose stories would be sadder and scarier than any daddy issues these pansies here have had to deal with.
k-onda- February 2, 2011 at 8:28 am
I want a "tumultuous-youth-off!" At least a top ten list.

What do you think would happen if Shields can't take GSP down? Would a) he actually try to fight? or b) his corner throw in the towel?

Obligatory boring joke: I'm just hoping someday to be able to get to the end of a Shieldzzz fight without having to do a line of coke between each round.

edhedicus- February 2, 2011 at 8:20 am
I saw Jake Shields on Bully Beatdown, the only real fighter that got out pointed on his feet by a regular guy. GSP's wrestling is WAY better, and Jake cant fight on his feet, and he doesn't feel like an underdog? Not only is he boring, he is stupid too! Guess the Diaz brothers are rubbing off on him....
KingTcb- February 2, 2011 at 8:17 am
fan-favorite B.J. Penn to a less marketable champion in Frankie Edgar????

Call me crazy but I havent seen any fan faforite in BJ penn. But i have most def seen fan hatred of Bj penn... Edgar is a classy standup guy whos not making excuses or talking any shit... Bj on the other hand i believe has a lot more haters... Maybe Bj penn 5 years ago but i dont think the bj penn losing to edgar would b anything like Shields beating GSP
Smitty- February 2, 2011 at 8:11 am
No one has been able to keep GSP down once taking him down. The type of fighter to beat GSP will be someone with power in both hands, good stand up, and GREAT take down defense. Sorry Jake, but you MIGHT have 1 of those 3. Time for that win streak to come to and end.
Tai-Pan- February 2, 2011 at 8:09 am
GSP vs the Human Snuggie and your worried about GSP? Have you seen Jake Shields throw a punch? Neither have I.
intercept440- February 2, 2011 at 8:03 am
back in his tumultous youth with people pulling guns and bats and knives??

he must be referring to all the times he was getting his donut hole punched in by his stockton 209 homies
Danky4twanky- February 2, 2011 at 7:54 am
@ RwilsonR
Lol!!!! I was wondering if anybody else read that. How can you mention boring fighter and not direct it at shieldzzzzzzzzzzzzz? Gsp has his moments of lameness, but atleast he doesn't show up to a fist fight with pillows.
LOKI- February 2, 2011 at 7:50 am
Hell of a nice guy. Dry as a sarlac pit...but a hell of a nice guy.

Best of luck to him.
RwilsonR- February 2, 2011 at 7:48 am
Goog Says:
Wed, 02/02/2011 - 07:23
Knives, bats, and guns are one thing. The problem for Shields is GSP is going to pull out... GSP.


"The problem for Shields is GSP is going to pull out..." - actually, I think that is more of a worry for the after-party with these two pretty boys.
RwilsonR- February 2, 2011 at 7:39 am
An article that worries that Jake Shields' opponent will be the one utilizing a strategy that puts the audience to sleep? That is your concern in a Jake Shields fight? Really? Wow.
Goog- February 2, 2011 at 7:23 am
Knives, bats, and guns are one thing. The problem for Shields is GSP is going to pull out... GSP.
LAS- February 2, 2011 at 7:12 am
So Shields doesn't 'feel' like the underdog; I bet he's been reading The Secret.