I think we can all agree Jake Shields didn’t exactly put on a brilliant display of striking this past weekend. Nevertheless, he still managed to inflict more noticeable damage to GSP’s face than GSP inflicted on him. If that surprises you, you’re not the only one. Even Shields longtime trainer, Cesar Gracie, was shocked that Shields was able rough GSP up on the feet. From an interview with the Verbal Submission radio show, transcribed via Fight Opinion:
“I thought Jake probably performed the best out of everybody because it looked to me like, you know, he… if that fight kept going, Jake wins, is what it looked like to me. He hurt St. Pierre, broke his nose, popped his eye, and I was really surprised how well he did standing with the guy. I got him with a new boxing coach, this guy named Mario, and the guy really tuned up Jake’s game. He was throwing a great jab. He landed the right hand a couple of times really hard and I really think it caught GSP off-track to see how good Jake has come along in the stand-up department. Props to GSP for having excellent takedown defense and making it a stand-up fight where he thought he will win, but Jake came out to fight and I thought he looked really good. GSP has beaten everybody else up for the most part and made it very lopsided in his wins and, even though he was able to take the fight where he wanted it and that was standing, it looked like Jake did very well standing, you know, on his feet with him.”
Not to take anything away from Shields, but it’s important note that the eye injury GSP incurred in the second round was the main reason he was able to inflict the damage he did in the final rounds. Now if the injury was a result of Jake punching GSP in the eye as he told Ariel Helwani in the post-fight press conference, then props to him, but in the video below, it does look like an eye poke might have been the culprit.