Some fans might be counting Jake Shields out in his fight against Georges St-Pierre at UFC 129. Some fighters might be counting Jake Shields out in his fight against Georges St-Pierre at UFC 129. Oddsmakers have Shields as a four-to-one underdog going into UFC 129.
But there’s one key person who knows exactly how dangerous Jake Shields is. That person is Georges St-Pierre.
St-Pierre has had past opponents come at him with trash talk trying to get into his head, but with Shields he believes he’s legitimately facing the best fighter he’s ever fought at 170 pounds.
The Canadian champion has had his eye on Shields even before he came to the UFC, and mentioned fighting him a few years ago. Now that they are on a collision course in Toronto, St-Pierre will never look at Shields as an underdog. Shields is a champion, capable of beating the best in the world and that includes Georges St-Pierre.
“I’m going to tell you something about Jake Shields. When everyone thought he was going to lose to Robbie Lawler, I knew he was going to win. When everyone thought he was going to lose to Dan Henderson, I knew, I told all my friends, I was watching the fight, I knew he was going to win. I knew every single time Jake Shields was going into a fight as an underdog, I knew, I had a strong belief that he was going to win,” St-Pierre told MMAWeekly.com on Thursday.
St-Pierre believes people are underrating Shields because the strongest part of his game is his grappling, and it doesn’t have the same impact when watching a fight as a knockout does. Watching his past fights however, St-Pierre is fully aware of just how dangerous Shields can be, and his submissions are even more deadly than a flash knockout.
“The people, they don’t realize because they see a guy get knocked out, it’s very violent. They see Dan Henderson with a very powerful overhand right, he knocked out many people. Like Robbie Lawler, obviously a very powerful puncher, knocked out many people. People forget that a guy who’s got good submissions, it’s just as dangerous as a knockout punch,” St-Pierre stated.
“You can be winning the whole fight, four rounds, and then in the fifth round in the last minute you can make a mistake and bang, you have to tap. Otherwise your limb will break or you’ll be choked out unconscious. It’s just as bad as a knockout punch. Jake Shields has a weapon that is even more dangerous than a knockout punch. And he always finds a way to bring the fight and his game where he’s the strongest, even though the odds are all against him. That’s why this fight is the most dangerous fight for me.”
Throughout his career, even though he wasn’t in the UFC, Shields has managed to face some of the best fighters in the world. Shields holds wins over top names like Yushin Okami, Carlos Condit, Paul Daley, Jason “Mayhem” Miller, and Dan Henderson.
It’s for that very reason that St-Pierre believes Shields is truly the top 170-pound fighter he’s ever faced.
“I’m going to tell you right now, I strongly believe that if I put Jake against any of the contenders that I have fought before, Jake would have won the fight,” said St-Pierre. “That’s why this fight, when I say this fight the bar is raised higher than it’s ever been before, I’m not lying about it.”
And if the odds have Shields as a four-to-one underdog, well St-Pierre thinks that’s just crazy. If he’s the favorite in this fight, the UFC’s top welterweight sure isn’t looking at it that way, and he won’t let anyone tell him any different.
“This is foolish. This is like a trap for me,” St-Pierre said about being a heavy favorite in the fight.
“I’m not going to fall into the trap. The odds, this is ridiculous. People that make the odds, they don’t even know the sport, they have no idea who they’re dealing with.”