Home > Uncategorized > UFC 129 – Now or Never for Shields…

UFC 129 – Now or Never for Shields…

New York – For Jake Shields, tonight is the opportunity of a lifetime. If he has any hopes of solidifying his name among the top fighters in MMA history, it is now or never. The underrated Shields has won his last 15 matches, from EliteXC, Strikeforce and now the UFC. He has found ways to win when he shouldn’t. Taking down the former champion Dan Henderson, submitting middleweight champion Robbie Lawler, and more recently a split-decision to Martin Kampann that secured his bout against the welterweight champion at UFC 129, Georges St. Pierre. For years, people have doubted the talent of Shields, who lacks in the stand-up game, but thrives on the ground. Is there any better way to silence the critics than to defeat perhaps the greatest pound-for-pound fighter to ever enter the octagon? 

But this is no walk in the park for Shields either, who goes up against not only the champion in GSP, but also the 55,000 fans that will be behind him at a sold out Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, the home-town of the champ.

 

There has been talk of St.Pierre moving up to the middleweight division as there has been no opponent in the welterweight division to give GSP any sort of difficulty. He was able to defeat B.J. Penn and Josh Koscheck twice, reclaim his belt against Matt Serra and completely dominate Dan Hardy and Thiago Alves. As soon as he enters the cage, he controls the flow of the match. GSP is able to identify the weakness of his opponent and pick them apart at his own pace. Defeating Shields would be just another step for GSP to the dream match that MMA fans have hoped for, a bout against middleweight champion Anderson Silva, to claim once and for all, who is the greatest fighter in MMA history.

Shields stated yesterday, ““Winning the belt period, whoever I win it from, would mean a tremendous amount to me, but I think taking it from GSP is a whole different level. He’s possibly the best champ of all time. That’s a completely different level in my mind.” Shields has the respect for GSP, he isn’t a trash talker and proves himself in the cage.

The past few weeks leading up to the match, the pressure seems to be all on the shoulders of GSP. For what reason? Could it be that he is going to put his championship on the line in front of thousands of faithful fans? Or is it that people have doubted Shields for so long that he has been able to slide under the radar and could actually have a shot at beating GSP? Could the welterweight belt be in the hands of someone different for the first time in 4 years?

A Shields victory would be one of the biggest upsets in MMA history. Yes, GSP has the advantage in almost every aspect of the game; but Shields might have the mental edge. People do not expect him to win and a loss would not be shocking by any means. For Shields, it is not just about the championship, it is about proving to everyone who ever doubted his success and giving the term “underdog” a new definition.

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Although I would love to see someone take the crown from GSP, he is possibly the best conditioned athlete in the world and can go five rounds without breaking a sweat. If Shields can withstand the early rounds of strikes from GSP and find away around his defense, he might have a chance of going for a takedown and a submission. If I had to pick with my heart, it would be Shields, but if it was my wallet, GSP comes away as the reigning champion.

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