When Jake Shields beat Dan Henderson to a unanimous decision at Strikeforce: Nashville last year I was shocked. At the time, Hendo had left the UFC fresh off his devastating KO victory over Michael Bisping and was the favorite against Jake Shields in his Strikeforce debut. Before he defended his Middleweight crown against Dangerous Dan, Shields fought for the then-vacant Strikeforce belt against Jason Miller in a grappling clinic put on between the two, and in the end took the unanimous decision.
I personally believed that Jake didn’t have what it took to beat not only an Olympic-class wrestler, but a very dangerous power puncher. Most of us should know that Jake Shields doesn’t exactly have the best stand-up in Mixed Martial Arts. But what he lacks in the striking department, he completely makes up for with his Caesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu black belt and his very strong wrestling. If Shields can grab a hold of any opponent, they’ll be in very big trouble trying to defend his takedown, submissions, and transitions. And if somehow you can get him on the ground, he has the tools to get out of any nasty situation…
If you believe the odds makers, we’ll all be paying good money to watch a bunch of epic squash matches during this Saturday’s UFC 129 pay-per-view. There are a lot of long, long odds on the card this weekend and while that may not be great news for the squares watching at home, it’s enough to make any self respecting gambler’s heart go pitter-pat inside his silky, hula girl print Hawaiian shirt. When the numbers are this big you really only have two options, boys and girls: Bet heavy on the favorites in a sober attempt to turn a meager profit or throw down on the dogs in a blind smorgasbord of wanton excess. Any wonder which route we’re gonna take? That’s right, friends, we’re taking the more funner-er route. The odds themselves – from Bookmaker.com – are after the jump.
If you missed it, UFC Primetime was back last night with another episode featuring UFC 129 main event fighters Georges St-Pierre and Jake Shields.
The show focused more closely on the training regimens of both fighters and included snippets of GSP’s new gymnastics workout. I was hoping to there would be more of Shields sparring with Nick Diaz as he was in the gym helping the welterweight challenger prepare when they shot the footage of him training with Gilbert Melendez featured on the show last night, but the Strikeforce welterweight champ has an aversion to being on camera. There’s a rumor going around that he blasted “The Most Excited Interviewer in the World” for putting up training footage with the interviews he did with Shields a few weeks back and forced him to take the videos down.
All in all it was another decent episode, but the series would be much better without the tired cliches. It’s getting a little bit nauseating hearing how, “Shields will get the best Georges St-Pierre on April 30,” “GSP has never faced a grappler like Jake,” or “This is the toughest opponent of my career.” It seems that we hear the same thing from both camps before every fight.
It would be more entertaining to hear one of them say, “He sucks. Fighting him is almost a waste of my time. I’ve hardly trained because it’s going to be so easy. I’m going to beat him quickly so I can get a head start at pulling tail at the after party.”
Just when you think bench pressing 120 percent of your bodyweight and doing suicide sets of heavy squats without puking was a major gym accomplishment, GSP has to come along and make you rethink how in shape you really are.
The video above further illustrates the fact that working out is a past time for most of us and for St-Pierre it’s a career he takes more seriously than most fighters competing today.
Jake Shields was in Toronto recently for a photo shoot at Xtreme Couture for Jakt Apparel and he spoke briefly to MMACanada about his upcoming UFC 129 bout in the city with UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre while he was there.
For those of you whose bosses don’t like you wasting your work day watching videos on YouTube, the transcription is after the jump.
Two weeks from now, UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre will look to defend his title for the sixth time, squaring off against Jake Shields at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The fight will headline the stacked UFC 129, which will also feature names such as Randy Couture, Lyoto Machida, Jose Aldo and Ben Henderson on the main card.
Many fans see St. Pierre’s fight against Jake Shields as only a hurdle before “the real thing” — an encounter with UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva, which has been labeled a “Superfight”, and potentially the biggest bout in Mixed Martial Arts history. Yes, there’s no doubt about how huge a fight between St. Pierre and Silva would be, but it definitely wouldn’t be the first “Superfight” in the French-Canadian’s career…
If you missed the premiere episode of UFC Primetime: St-Pierre vs. Shields last night, don’t be scared, homies, we got you.
The show was as good as it predecessors, giving us a glimpse inside the camps of the main event fighters from UFC 129 April 30.
Not surprisingly, the the producers played up the respectful sportsmanship of St-Pierre who gave props to Shields’ ground game and politely pointed out that he chooses to test himself against opponents by beating them at their own games.
“Ee ‘as one area that ee is vary, vary good at and it’s ‘is grapping. All da guy dat he has fought in da past were afraid to go on the floor wit ‘im and dat is something dat I am not afraid to do. I always wanted to test myself wit the best fighter at ‘der best game. I like Jake Shield. He’s just at da wrong place at da wrong time. I train harder den I ever train,” GSP asserted throwing in a tired cliche for good measure. “I’m de best Georges St-Pierre dat I ever been. The fight dat I been waiting for for four years is gonna happen in front of fifty thousand people. It’s gonna be incredible.”
(If only all of Jake Shields fights were sped up and accompanied with Benny Hill theme-like music. Video courtesy of YouTube/JayCosta7)
The UFC announced last night that Jake Ellenberger will step in for Brian Foster against Sean Pierson at UFC 129 later this month in Toronto and that fellow welterweight Diego “The Dream” Sanchez has been added to a four-man grappling tournament at the weekend’s UFC Expo.