Almost everyone may be overlooking Jake Shields when he steps in the Octagon at UFC 129 on Saturday night to challenge Georges St-Pierre for the UFC welterweight title. Just don’t count St-Pierre among them.
As much as Shields has been calling for this fight for the past four years, so has St-Pierre.
But it’s not animosity that drives either man. According to St-Pierre, it’s a mutual respect for each other and the need for each to challenge himself against the best fighters in the world. In fact, when GSP steps foot in the Octagon with Shields, he sees himself on equal footing with the Cesar Gracie trained fighter, not as the champion to Shields’ challenge.
“He’s one of the guys that I’ve wanted to fight for a long time. I consider Jake Shields like a champion. He has done stuff that I never did. I want to be the one to beat the great Jake Shields,” said St-Pierre, giving the ultimate respect to his opponent. “We don’t trash talk; we respect each other. But believe me, Saturday night, the cage will close, it’s going to be something different.”