By Spencer Barnett-
Jake Shields will square up with current UFC Welterweight champion Georges “Rush” St. Pierre in a five round battle in Toronto, Ontario at UFC 129 on April 30.
Shields, who hasn’t lost a fight six years, since December 14, 2004 to be exact, is looking to claim his fifth professional mixed martial arts title. He already holds belts in Strikeforce (Middleweight), Elite Xtreme Combat (Welterweight), Professional Shoto Japan (Middleweight), and Rumble on the Rock (Welterweight tournament winner).
“I’ve been in these other shows and heard everyone say GSP is the greatest,” said Shields in a MMA News Leak interview. “When I was over in EliteXC beating everyone else, when I was in Strikeforce beating everyone else, at Rumble on the Rock and everyone kept on talking about GSP, I kept on winning and winning and beating good competition. I’ve been looking at this guy and wanting to fight him for years.”
In fact, Shields has kept winning and winning. Since 2004, he has been on a winning streak, defeating fighter after fighter. And now, with all his hard work paying off, he finally gets the shot to hold the title in the most reputable promotion.
“To become the UFC welterweight champion would mean everything to me,” said Shields. “This is what I’ve spent my last 11 years pursuing with all my energy.”
On the other side of the octagon, Georges St. Pierre has now defended his Welterweight title five times since 2008, when he took it from Matt Serra with a TKO due to knees to the body in the second round and is looking to make it a sixth time.
“Jake Shields is the most dangerous guy that I have fought so far but in a different way than most of the guys I have fought,” said St. Pierre to SportsRaidoInterview.com. “A lot of the guys I have fought in the past have a punchers chance. Everybody says you have to watch out for one thing, but Jake Shields has different tools than most of the guys that I have fought.”
One thing that Jake Shields is know for is his grappling. Shields has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and was a Division II wrestler at San Fransisco State University.
“He’s a very good grappler, probably the best jiu-jitsu guy in the sport, plus now he’s been working very hard on his Muay Thai, so he’s the kind of guy who’s going to try and knock me out standing up and try and submit me on the floor. I have to watch out for a lot of things,” St. Pierre said.
Also, history will be made at UFC 129, when Randy “The Natural” Couture (47) makes his farewell, fighting Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida in Couture’s last fight of his career.
Couture began his mixed martial arts carerr at UFC 13 in 1997 and is currently 19-10 (Las Vegas Sun). He has been champion in both the Heavyweight and Light-Heavyweight division.
“Win, lose or draw, it doesn’t really factor into the equation,” Couture said. It’s about where I’m at in my life. I’ve been doing this for a long time.”
Machida, who was a former Light-Heavyweight champion, is set to make his way back up the title contender ladder.
“I feel like Randy Couture has built a history in this sport and helped build the sport to what it is today,” Machida said through a translator. “It’s an honor to be able to fight him. Out of respect, I want to give my best to Randy Couture on that night.”