The challenges for Georges St-Pierre at 170lbs aren’t done just yet. Former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields is waiting in the wings and will indeed get the next chance to try and dethrone the champion.
While his UFC debut didn’t go his way, it’s hard to ignore Shields’ resume over the last several years. Shields has been undefeated since 2004, and is riding a 15-fight win streak, both of which accomplishments are longer than the run that UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva currently rides.
UFC president Dana White re-affirmed the Shields will still get the next shot when speaking to MMAWeekly.com after the fights ended.
“Shields has the shot at the 170lb title,” White said.
St-Pierre, just moments removed from his victory over Josh Koscheck, had some very complimentary things to say about his next challenger, and anticipates a good fight with Shields when it happens.
“Jake Shields, I like watching him fight. He’s a very meticulous fighter, he’s a very technical guy, he’s a brilliant submission artist,” St-Pierre commented. “He beat up everyone at 170, almost everybody at 185. He fights in both weight classes, he’s amazing.”
Critics have pointed at Shields lackluster debut fight against Martin Kampmann in which he squeaked out a split decision as to why he shouldn’t get a title shot in his next fight, but St-Pierre says that the first fight in the UFC can be rough. Especially with as many eyes on you as Shields had in his debut.
“The UFC brought him in, he had the first fight in the UFC, when it’s your first fight fighting in the UFC it’s always something special. Because UFC is the biggest organization in the world, it’s like a shock,” said St-Pierre. “I saw the last fight of Jake Shields and I heard people criticize his performance, but he’s probably the No. 1 contender right now for my title and he’s someone I need to keep my eye on because he’s a very good fighter.”
While neither White nor St-Pierre would comment too much following UFC 124 in Montreal, the signs would point towards a GSP vs. Shields match-up going to the debut Toronto show in April 2011.
Anticipating that likelihood, Shields already commented on that possible location and welcomes facing St-Pierre in his home country, and might even throw in a little Josh Koscheck like attitude towards the Canadian crowd.
“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 has already stated he’s going to adjust his diet to make sure the problems he had with his cardio in his last fight doesn’t happen again, and get ready for his shot at Georges St-Pierre in 2011.