A win is a win.
It’s the philosophy that Jake Shields is working with following his split decision victory over Martin Kampmann at UFC 121, and now he’s got his eyes set on the prize he came to the promotion to claim.
The UFC welterweight title currently held by Georges St-Pierre.
The test will not be an easy one of course, and after a rough patch to start his Octagon career, Shields admits he wasn’t even sure the UFC would stand by their promise of a title shot if he won, and even he would understand why.
“It was a great feeling because after that fight I knew I put on such a poor performance, I wouldn’t have been surprised at all if (UFC president Dana White) said either (Jon) Fitch or (Carlos) Condit or something for the title shot. I wouldn’t have blamed him at all cause I was so mad at myself for putting on such a bad performance,” Shields said when appearing on MMAWeekly Radio.
“I think it’s awesome that they’re still giving me the shot. Even though this wasn’t the best performance, I honestly do still feel I deserve a title shot, on a 15-fight winning streak, over some pretty decent opponents.”
In the run Shields is currently on he has defeated fighters like Paul Daley, Carlos Condit, Yushin Okami, Jason “Mayhem” Miller, and Dan Henderson. Anyone that doubts his credentials can just look at the list of opponents he’s faced and defeated, but that will only grant him a shot at the belt. Shields still has to earn the victory to go home with the gold.
The research will start for Shields right away as he plans on sitting front row and center in December at UFC 124 to scout the fight between Georges St-Pierre and Josh Koscheck. If he was forced to pick a winner, Shields believes he’s leaning one way, but won’t be surprised no matter who walks out champion that night.
“I think it’s a really tough fight and really close, and I just give a slight edge to GSP, but I wouldn’t be shocked by any means if Koscheck beat him,” said Shields.
“I think he’s got a shot, but I still give a slight edge to GSP. He’s just a guy that knows how to win.”
As far as who Shields would rather fight, he fully confesses that he’s been calling for a shot at St-Pierre for several years.
“I would definitely rather fight GSP,” Shields commented. “One, he’s the bigger name, the bigger star, and it’s a guy I’ve wanted to fight for a while, and two, I don’t really want to fight Josh. I’ve been training with him forever, I mean I’ll definitely fight him because it’s business, but fighting against your sparring partners is kind of weird to me. Not that I won’t do it, just not something I’m really stoked to do.”
If St-Pierre is victorious for a second time over Koscheck, then Shields is happy to become the bad guy for Canadian fans to root against as he becomes the next man in line to try to take the title away from their home country hero. The Californian says he’s even happy to face St-Pierre on his home soil if that’s what it takes to get the belt.
“I definitely plan on going up to Montreal and be watching to see who I’m fighting. Maybe I’ll pull a Koscheck and bash their hockey team or something like that,” Shields joked.
“There’s a possibility of me fighting him in Toronto in that big 50,000 seat arena or whatever it is. You might as well make them hate you like Koscheck’s done.”
Shields will head to Montreal in December and will happily sit through the title fight at UFC 124 and await his chance to call out the winner to finally compete for the UFC gold.