Jake Shields is brutally honest in his assessment of the fight he had against Ray Cooper to kick off the Professional Fighters League (PFL) season earlier this year.
When asked to assess what exactly led to a second round TKO defeat, Shields doesn’t mince words.
“Pretty much everything,” Shields said when asked what went wrong. “I think I went out there a little slow and I underestimated him. He was good and I knew he had power but I was a little hesitant and he hit me pretty hard early on and I was dazed and I never really got into my rhythm. It was one of those fights where I just felt off the whole day.
“I didn’t fight my best and he had the perfect fight.”
Shields was able to bounce back from that defeat to get a win in his next fight to qualify for the playoffs where the winner will eventually earn a $1 million payday in December.
The matchups were decided based on the seeding the fighters earned through their first two fights and Shields ultimately ended up with a rematch against Cooper in the opening round of the playoffs.
Ideally, Shields would have liked a little more time off from a rigorous summer schedule not to mention bouncing back so quickly from a TKO but he’s still more than ready to go out and avenge his prior loss to Cooper.
“It’s great cause it gives me a chance to get my revenge after going out there and getting embarrassed in the first match but then also he is a really dangerous fight,” Shields said. “One of the most dangerous guys for sure, especially with his power. So with two fights in one night, you don’t want to go out there and take any big shots and have to do a second fight.
“It’s one of those fights that could go either way. He can hit fast and he’s got a lot of power but I can also take him down fast and submit him. So that’s obviously what I want to do.”
Ahead of their second fight, Cooper has promised that he will deliver a similar performance in the rematch except he expects even more damaging results.
Cooper stated that he plans to retire Shields with a second loss to him at PFL 10 and while he respects the career that the former Strikeforce champion put together, he believes it’s time for him to call it a career.
Shields vehemently disagrees.
“He’s going to be wrong. He’s overconfident. I plan on going out there and putting a beating on him. If he has that attitude, it’s going to be a wake up call for him,” Shields said in response.
“I think he has a lot of power and he is really talented but he’s also overconfident. I think he went out there and had an 18-second knockout the last time and he feels invincible. He feels like he’s on top of the world. I’ve been there. I’m going to come back and destroy him. It’s going to be a wake up call for him. He’s in for a real surprise.”