September 13, 2007

by Jeff Cain – MMAWeekly.com
(Photo courtesy of Greg Honda)

Jake Shields, the eighth-ranked welterweight in the world by the MMAWeekly World MMA Rankings, is set to take on Renato “Charuto” Verissimo Saturday night in EliteXC.

Shields thinks he can knock Verissimo out standing.

The two have been on a collision course since they both entered the Rumble on the Rock 175lb. tournament last year. Shields eventually won the tournament, while Verissimo was ousted in the opening round by Carlos Condit.

They were also scheduled to meet earlier this year in the Gracie Fighting Championship that was indefinitely postponed. Shields and Charuto will finally face off this weekend in Honolulu at the EliteXC event that will air live on Showtime.

Shields and Verissimo are both known for their grappling abilities and Jiu-Jitsu skills, but it wouldn’t be uncommon if this fight remained standing. “We’re both good Jiu-Jitsu guys, we might want to stand with each other instead,” Shields told MMAWeekly.

Asked if he’s been working on his striking, Jake said, “I’ve been working on it a lot, and it’s definitely something I’m thinking about doing. I’m going to get out there and fight and see how I feel. I’m not putting together an exact game plan for this fight, but I think it’s definitely a possibility that I want to stand with Charuto.”

He added, “I think his stand up is not bad, but I also think he doesn’t have the best jaw. I think he’s definitely a guy I could knock out.”

Shields is excited to fight Verissimo, and has been looking forward to it for a long time. “I think me and Charuto is a good fight. I think we’re a good match-up, two top Jiu-Jitsu guys, and we’re going to go at it.

“I’ve been wanting to fight him for a while. I like Charuto as a person and a fighter. I think he’s a great guy, but he’s someone I think is going to be a great fight.

“I’m excited to do it on Showtime where my friends and fans can watch. I”m going to go out there and hopefully put on a good show. I know I’m ready, in shape, and ready to go out there and fight.”

Shields concluded, “Obviously, a win’s a win, and nice, but I want to go out there and put on a dominant performance. I want to finish him. I don’t really care if it’s a submission or knockout, but I’d love to go out there and finish him, hopefully in dominant fashion. I want to go out there and make it just look like we’re in different leagues.”