Jake Shields

“I think me and Mayhem match up for a nice and exciting fight…I think he’s an extremely talented fighter. He’s got a little size on me, and he’s extremely well-rounded. He can fight from anywhere and he always comes in shape…Being ground fighters, being on top in MMA is usually an advantage. Wrestling would definitely be an advantage, but I feel Mayhem has a little bit underestimated wrestling. His wrestling is actually pretty good. I think he’s definitely capable of taking me down and I think I’m definitely capable of standing with him too, so this fight could take place anywhere…I spar with the best fighters in the world no problem, but people want to bash my stand up. I’m not going to let it (the criticism) for me play into someone else’s game to try and prove myself…We trained a couple of times together. It was one of those things where it was nonstop transitioning from one move to the next on the ground. Hopefully we’ll have that kind of fight out there.”

—Jake Shields talking to MMA Weekly about his fight this Saturday night against Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller

If you would have asked me yesterday who wins this, I would have said Jake Shields hands down, but after seeing how focused Mayhem is in his preparation for this fight, I’m beginning to think Mayhem is going to put up a much better fight than I was expecting. Mayhem was rather blunt about his gameplan — stay on his feet and punch Shields in his face. If Mayhem can do that, his chances of winning greatly improve. If not, his path to victory is going to have a lot more twists and turns. Mayhem’s grappling is solid — good enough to get him out of any danger Jake might put him — but Shields is one of the best at his craft, and that’s going to present Mayhem with a difficult mountain to climb if he can’t dictate where the fight takes place.

Either way, I’m just hoping for a fight as entertaining as Mayhem’s wild ring entrances, which by the way Strikeforce has given him the green light for on Saturday night. Predictions?

Image via Esther Lin for Showtime