“I think if there’s anybody out there that’s going give GSP a good fight, I think Jake Shields might be the man. When you look at him and you don’t think much. When you see him fight and you don’t think much, but he goes out there and wins… He beat Dan Henderson. I know it’s a different style and styles make fights, but I think Dan Henderson would do really well with GSP if they were in the ring together. I honestly think it’s a toss-up… I think I’ve heard Shields is taking this fight serious. He’s bringing down Chael Sonnen and some other people, so it looks like he’s coming to win this thing . We’ll see what happens. A fight is a fight.”
—BJ Penn, via Heavy.com, on the UFC 127 conference call weighing on the upcoming Georges St. Pierre vs. Jake Shields welterweight title fight
Mauro Ranallo tweeted last week that Shields was bringing in Olympic level wrestlers Chael Sonnen and Ben Askren to help him prepare for GSP. I don’t know if that’s where Penn heard it from, but I don’t think there was ever any question how seriously Shields is taking this fight. Top wrestlers like Sonnen and Askren will certainly be of help to Shields, but I still think he’s going to run into problems on the feet with GSP. St. Pierre knows Shields is most dangerous on the ground and I think he’s going to do everything in his power to avoid going there. I anticipate a similar gameplan to the one he used against Koscheck — a lot of jabs and striking from range to keep him at a safe distance. And even if Shields is able to drag him to the ground, he’s going to have to smother him for a large portion of the fight and that’s going to be tough. Not to discredit Shields win over Dan Henderson or anything, but Hendo struggled with the weight cut and gassed pretty early in that fight. GSP isn’t going to gas out.
Image via MMACanada.net