Posts Tagged ‘Jake Shields’

In Their Own Words: The Week’s Noteworthy Quotes

photo courtesy of Tracy Lee/Yahoo Sports!

“It’s cool that I get to do something that I love doing and make a living off of it.”
- Daniel “Ninja” Roberts admitted on Punch Drunk Radio that he is content with his career choice.

“I was really surprised by the third one.  I felt like I was going to keep slamming him until the end of the round.”
- Rory MacDonald said in a post-fight interview that he surprised himself by continuously slamming Nate Diaz during their bout at UFC 129.

“Machida is like a son to me.  We worked hard on that kick and I really wanted him to do that kick.  He wanted to do it and he knew he could, and he did.”
Steven Seagal informed Ariel Helwani that he wanted Lyoto Machida to utilize the front kick that knocked out Randy Couture, at UFC 129.

“I think the last time we had this conversation I had all my teeth.”
Couture confirms with Joe Rogan that Machida kicked out of The Natural’s teeth in their bout at UFC 129.

“Jake is an amazing fighter, he’s much better than I thought.  I give him props.”
- Georges St-Pierre confesses that he underestimated Jake Shields, in the champ’s after fight speech.

“I cannot see with my left eye right now.  It’s very blurred.  I am going to have to go to the hospital.”
St-Pierre told Rogan he suffered an eye injury in the second round of his title defense match against Shields.

“Hey everybody, leaving the hospital soon, just finished all my eye tests, I still don’t see anything from my left eye but I’ll be (fine).  Thanks for the support!!”
St-Pierre tweeted shortly after his victory against Shields.

“I hope I didn’t put you into labor, I hope you’re OK.”
Mark Hominick said to his wife, from the Octagon, after a five-round war with UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo.

“@josealdojunior Round 6?”
Hominick tweeted to Aldo after their crowd-pleasing battle.

“To go out to that ovation was pretty special.”
Couture said in a post-fight interview at UFC 129, after receiving a heartfelt goodbye from the audience at Rogers Centre.

UFC 129: St-Pierre outlasts Shields, Aldo hangs on against Hominick

UFC 129

On a night when the champions retained their titles, Georges St-Pierre showed his ability to focus, even with just one eye, while Jose Aldo had to hold off 55,000 and one people trying to get him to yield his belt.

St-Pierre’s streak of consecutive rounds won came to an end but he held off Jake Shields to win a unanimous decision at retain his welterweight belt Saturday in Toronto’s Rogers Centre at UFC 129.  Aldo racked up an early lead against Mark Hominick to defend his featherweight title, but by the end of the fight was on his back, doing his best to hold off the Canadian’s hard charge, spurred on by 55,000 screaming fans.

The vision in St. Pierre’s left eye was compromised in the second round, but fortunately no one from the commission ever asked him about it.  He fought on, thwarting Shields’ takedown attempts with relative ease and peppering him with a jab for the first three rounds.

Shields was able to somewhat turn the tide over the final two frames as St-Pierre clearly was bothered by his lack of vision and, later, a face that was bloodied from Shields’ striking.  Shields actually won a pair of rounds from St-Pierre in the eyes of two of the judges, who scored him a 48-47 loser.  The other card was 50-45 for the Canadian St-Pierre.

“It was the second round.  I think it got scratched or something,” St-Pierre said.  “I cannot see with my left eye right now.  It’s very blurred. I am going to have to go to the hospital.”

It was clear heading into the fight that Shields’ best chance to win was by putting St-Pierre on the ground, and the champion used his great wrestling to avert the mat.  Shields’ boxing became more and more effective as the fight wore on, and it surprised St-Pierre.

“His striking was much better than I expected,” St-Pierre said.  “I was expecting to beat him more standing, and then put him on the ground later in the round.  I wanted to make a better performance.  Jake is an amazing fighter, he’s much better than I thought.  I give him props.”

With Shields, a former champion at welterweight in EliteXC and at middleweight in Strikeforce, now history, all the talk about St-Pierre’s next opponent will turn to UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.  Silva will fight Yushin Okami when the UFC goes to Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 27, but after that, St-Pierre might lay in waiting.

“We’ll see.  I have not considered anything yet,” St-Pierre said.  “Going up in weight class would reconsider my whole career.  Maybe there are other ways to do things.  We’ll sit down and talk.”

Aldo built up an early lead then held on as Hominick rallied behind his opponent’s adoring crowd.

Aldo won a unanimous decision but found himself in the unlikely position of fighting off his back as Hominick worked a ground-and-pound fueled by the massive Canadian crowd.  Hominick was able to survive numerous looks by referee John McCarthy and the ringside physician at a tremendous contusion that went from his right eyebrow to his hairline.  He kept pushing, despite being badly bloodied about the left cheek, and nearly got in enough blows to finish Aldo, who could do no more than slow Hominick with wrist control for the final few minutes.

“Congrats to Mark Hominick, he is  a hell of a fighter,” Aldo said through an interpreter.  “I knew he had great standup skills, but I came very prepared with my Muay Thai. The weight cut was as usual, but because I had some time off, I had put a lot more muscle on, so I had to adapt.”

Aldo, despite looking gassed in the final few minutes, matched Hominick’s traditional post-fight regimen of push-ups.  Meanwhile Hominick found fault with his effort which, if nothing else, left no doubt about his heart and gas tank.

Hominick’s wife is due with the couple’s first child, a daughter, this week.

“I hope I didn’t put you into labor, I hope you’re OK,” he said to his wife.  “I’d like to thank John McCarthy for not stopping the fight.  I was never giving up.”

With no quit, Hominick nearly pulled off the miraculous finish, spurred on by a record crowd more than twice as big as any in UFC history.

“I didn’t throw enough combinations,” said Hominick.  “I was throwing single shots.  I let him get one up on me, and I was worried about the takedowns too much.  I could have attacked more on the ground.  I fought hard for you guys.”

Counterpunch UFC 129: Reasons to pick the underdogs

Georges St-Pierre (Joe Rizzo/

UFC 129 is upon us, and it has Toronto and the Rogers Centre abuzz.  The hype train, plus the UFC Fan Expo, has stoked the fires of the promotion’s rabid fan base and done the same for the MMA DieHards panel of writers – Bob Badders, Cameron Chow, Jason Kelly, Aidan O’Connor and yours truly.

We gathered to make our picks for the main card and, in what might be a first, the panel was divided on nearly every contest, save for the one between Daniel Roberts and Claude Patrick, in which everyone selected Roberts.  That brings us to the “Counterpunch,” where one of the writers in the minority defends his reason for going against the panel members’ collective majority opinion.

Yves Jabouin vs. Pablo Garza
Defending Garza: Joe Rizzo
A couple of things have combined to work in Garza’s favor throughout his career: fighting at featherweight, and doing it on a full camp.

Against Yves Jabouin,”The Scarecrow” has both of those working in his favor.  Zuffa zealots might best remember a pair of his losses, one of them to Michael Johnson, the eventual finalist, get into the house at TUF 12, and the other to highly touted Chinese fighter “Mongolian Wolf” Zhang Tie Quan at WEC 51.  Against Johnson, Garza was fighting at lightweight.  Against Zhang, he took the fight on short notice.

When Garza made his UFC debut against Fredson Paixao, he recorded one of the greatest knee-driven knockouts in the promotion’s history.  It might not be another knee, but get ready anyhow, because Garza has something in store that will make Jabouin another victim, in spectacular fashion.

John Makdessi vs. Kyle Watson
Defending Watson: Cameron Chow

If you’ve worked your way deep into the mix on The Ultimate Fighter, you’ll more than likely get your chance in the UFC.  Watson is one of those guys.

Watson stuck it out on the reality show but did not win.  His time there paid off as he gets a shot to take on Makdessi, who is 8-0.  But my gut tells me Watson is going to pull this one off. Watson is desperate to grab a victory by showcasing his expanded skill set.

Makdessi won’t make it easy on him, but Watson will finish this one before it goes to the judges.

Jason MacDonald vs. Ryan Jensen
Defending MacDonald: Aidan O’Connor

A tricky one to call.  Both men have experienced mixed results during their time in the Octagon and the loser may well receive their marching orders, something that could make this bout either an all-out war or an overly cautious affair.

MacDonald is coming back from a nasty leg injury that has kept him out for almost a year, a setback that naturally raises questions of ring rust. One would assume, however, that training at Xtreme Couture with the likes of Gray Maynard, Forrest Griffin and the ageless Randy Couture would do wonders for anyone’s endurance, let alone a man who modestly bestows the nickname “The Athlete” upon himself.  By the same token, a lengthy layoff doesn’t always equal a lackluster performance, note Anthony Johnson’s victory over Dan Hardy last month following an extended absence of his own.  Even if it wasn’t the slugfest we were all expecting, Johnson showed great awareness and employed an effective game plan.

Who’s to say MacDonald can’t do the same?

MacDonald also holds a significant experience edge over his opponent, having competed in nearly twice as many fights as Jensen – 38 to 22. In that time, MacDonald has claimed notable victories over the likes of Joe Doerksen, Chris Leben and Ed Herman. Not too shabby.

Both men have a history of tapping out their opponents, which could potentially make for an interesting technical encounter on the ground. In such a scenario, the combination of MacDonald’s fight camp, which included accomplished wrestlers such as Couture, and the majority of Jensen’s defeats having come by way of submission, sees the edge go to MacDonald in a rational world.  Not that one would ever describe the world of MMA as “rational.”

On top of all these factors, the Canadian will be performing in front of 55,000 spectators in his home country. Fan favoritism is almost guaranteed and should serve as a much-welcomed morale boost for “The Athlete.”  Jason MacDonald for the win, because it makes sense on paper (famous last words).

Ivan Menjivar vs. Charlie Valencia
Defending Menjivar: Chow

Menjivar is only 27 years old.  Despite his relatively young age, he has fought in 29 contests.  This will be his first in the UFC.

For those of you who have been following Counterpunch throughout the year, you know that my picks are never scientific.  It’s not my forte.  I just have a hunch Menjivar is going to beat Valencia.

Menjivar has been retired and unretired. “The Pride of El Salvador” has fought some of the top fighters in the world, big time names like Georges St-Pierre, Matt Serra, Urijah Faber, Joe Lauzon and Caol Uno.  Menjivar now trains at Tristar gym in Montreal.  While he’s not Canadian, he’ll have the benefit of fighting close to home and this will be to his advantage because he will beat Valencia due to his superb training.

Claude Patrick vs. Daniel Roberts
Roberts is unanimous pick: Rizzo
Perhaps it’s his submission skills that make “Ninja” the only unanimous choice of the panel.

Patrick is an opponent more than worthy of his spot in this fight.  In fact, Patrick is a significant favorite in the gambling odds (minus-175, to Roberts’ plus-155).

But it’s Roberts’ ability to come out on top in fights he is not expected to win that makes him a reliable underdog pick in the collective minds of the panel members.

Sean Pierson vs. Jake Ellenberger

Defending Pierson: Bob Badders
I am usually never a fan of a fighter taking a fight on short notice, and that theory applies with Ellenberger as he steps in for Brian Foster (not medically cleared) to face Pierson.

Ellenberger has won three fights in a row, including wins over Mike Pyle and John Howard, but wasn’t as impressive as I would have liked in a split-decision win over Carlos Eduardo Rocha at UFC 126. Ellenberger is a veteran of 29 fights and also is an accomplished grappler.  The problem is that Pierson may be able to match him on the ground.

Pierson has a Greco-Roman wrestling background and is also a Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt.  After struggling with consistency over his first nine fights, he has won six in a row, including a unanimous decision victory over Matt Riddle at UFC 124.  Pierson, a native Canadian, will also have the home crowd firmly behind him.

At the end of the day, I like Pierson’s consistency to get the better of Ellenberger.

Nate Diaz vs. Rory MacDonald
Defending Diaz: Badders

MacDonald has star written all over him, and is surely being picked by most experts to win his fight with Diaz.

I am not one of them.

I love MacDonald as a fighter, and it’s hard not to like a fighter who, at 21-years old, has just one blemish. His last-second loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 115 stopped a 10-fight winning streak. He’ll try to get a new streak going against Diaz, who has the experience edge and is, in my opinion, very underrated.

Diaz is coming off a loss to Dong Hyun Kim at UFC 125, but had wins over Marcus Davis, Rory Markham and Melvin Guillard around a split-decision loss to lightweight title contender Gray Maynard.  Diaz trains with and has fought some of the best in the business, and has wins over Kurt Pellegrino, Manny Gamburyan and Josh Neer.

There is plenty of hype surrounding McDonald, and for good reason, but I think Diaz is going to pull the “surprise” win and continue his accent up the welterweight division.

Mark Bocek vs. Ben Henderson
Defending BoceK: Jason Kelly

When the Canadian Bocek takes on former WEC lightweight champion Henderson, I think the homeland fighter will grab this victory.

Henderson has such strong submission defense that sometimes it’s a miracle that he can escape, but Bocek has such strong submission offense that he is not a person you want to tussle with on the ground in any capacity.  Though Henderson is a former WEC champ, Bocek is a UFC veteran who knows how to win in the Octagon.  I think that is a factor that will play against Henderson is his UFC debut, as well.

I predict Bocek to win this fight in the third round with a textbook guillotine choke.

Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Jason Brilz
Defending Matyushenko: Rizzo
While I was somewhat shocked to see Matyushenko be the minority pick, I was glad to have the chance to plead his case, even against a great fighter like Brilz.

“The Janitor” is, after all, easy to defend.  A freak of nature at 40, his style is nothing new to those who have been following MMA for many years.  Aside from Jon Jones, Matyushenko is able to take down pretty much anyone out there, and use his incredible physical strength to stay in advantageous positions.  If he gets Brilz on his back, the ground-and-pound will come out quickly.

But an underrated part of Matyushenko’s game is the power in his hands, and his ability to take a punch to get where he wants to be.  He is going to have to do that if he wants to have success against Brilz.  Having faced Jones and fallen victim to the rising star, Matyushenko has the measure of the light heavyweight division and will show he once again should be considered among its elite, winning by decision over the tough-as-nails Brilz.

Randy Couture vs. Lyoto Machida
Defending Couture: Rizzo
Perhaps it’s no coincidence that as the veteran of the MMA DieHards writers panel, I am stepping up to defend my 40-something brethren.

As we continue to defy the odds by snubbing our collective fingers at the aging process, Couture, Matyushenko and I can stick together and have one each others’ backs.  Yes, life has taught us things you younger folks might be lucky enough to get to know someday.  But for now, we’ll use our magical secrets.

In reality, there really appears no way that someone like Couture, 47, could compete with the 32-year-old Machida today or any day moving forward.  Couture has done it before, and while he appears to be saying he’ll not try to do it again after UFC 129, he’ll come out with a great game plan that will make us all (well, at least those of you under 40) thump our foreheads and ask ourselves how we ever doubted this guy in the first place.

A surprisingly nimble Couture finishes his career with a win, it says here.

Featherweight champion Jose Aldo vs. Mark Hominick
Defending Hominick: Kelly

Hominick has put together a solid all-around MMA game in his 10 years of professional fighting, but it’s no secret that striking is “The Machine’s” strong point. The Team Tompkins fighter presents dangerous fight-ending combinations of punches and kicks, perfect footwork and an ability to evade the opposition’s offence that is excellent.

Aldo has never dealt with a fighter that brings these threats to the table and the champ is coming off a layoff after recovering from neck surgery. This may not be the best time for the Brazilian to fight a speed demon with the skill set Hominick possesses.

Hominick wins via liver shot, a la Bas Rutten, in round three, and takes the featherweight belt.

Welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre vs. Jake Shields
Defending Shields: Kelly

St-Pierre is the favorite in his title defense against Shields for all the right reasons, but Shields’ chances to “shock the world” are very good, despite the gambling odds.

Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch are elite wrestlers, but they had a problem taking down GSP because the champ is a great MMA wrestler.  But that is where Shields matches the Canadian. The former Strikeforce middleweight champion may not succeed taking St-Pierre to the ground on the first or second try, but eventually the fight will hit the mat, and then Shields will become a nightmare for GSP.  St-Pierre is going to have pressure put on him by Shields that he has not had to deal with in a long time.

I see Shields grinding down St-Pierre until late in the fourth round, when he will win via rear naked choke.

UFC 129 Weigh In Results

UFC 129: Jake Shields works with the best in order to submit GSP

Picture courtesy of Heather Whiting/

The UFC welterweight sits down with to discuss his preparation for his shot at the UFC championship belt when he faces Georges St. Pierre at UFC 129.

Beat The MMA DieHards: UFC 129

UFC 129's Beat The MMA DieHards's Celeb panel consists of (L to R) Ton Jones, Zoltan Bathory, & T.J. Lavin.

One lucky reader, Ryan Woolley, gets his chance to show his MMA prediction skills as she goes against our panel for UFC 129.

This week our celeb panel consists of Zoltan Bathory of Alpha Dog Combat Gear and founder/guitarist of Five Finger Death Punch,  T.J. Lavin a BMX rider, professional musician, and MTV personality, and  Ton Jones of Auction Hunters the hit TV series on Spike TV.

Zoltan Bathory Ton Jones T.J. Lavin Ryan Woolley
Y. Jabouin P. Garza Y. Jabouin P. Garza
K. Watson K. Watson K. Watson J. Makdessi
J. MacDonald R. Jensen J. MacDonald J. MacDonald
C. Valencia I. Menjivar C. Valencia I. Menjivar
D. Roberts D. Roberts C. Patrick C. Patrick
J. Ellenberger S. Pierson J. Ellenberger J. Ellenberger
N. Diaz N. Diaz N. Diaz R. MacDonald
B. Henderson B. Henderson B. Henderson B. Henderson
V. Matyushenko V. Matyushenko V. Matyushenko J. Brilz
R. Couture R. Couture R. Couture L. Machida
J. Aldo J. Aldo J. Aldo J. Aldo
J. Shields G. St. Pierre G. St. Pierre G. St. Pierre

“UFC Primetime: St-Pierre vs. Shields” debut episode draws 610K viewers to Spike TV

UFC 129 weigh-ins take place at Ricoh Coliseum

In Their Own Words: GSP vs. Shields, Couture talks retirement, Daley apologizes

Jake Shields (photo courtesy of Sherdog)

“To become the UFC welterweight champion would mean everything to me.” – Jake Shields expresses his desire to defeat Georges St-Pierre for the championship.

“I think GSP’s going to be able to do whatever he wants.  Jake’s not going to be able to get on top, so I just don’t see him being effective really anywhere.” – Matt Hughes believes Shields doesn’t stand much of a chance against St-Pierre.

“There’s a big chance this is my last fight.” – Randy Couture hints at retiring…again.

“They’re not real training partners.  They’re like 10 years apart.  They didn’t grow up training together” – Nick Diaz doesn’t think Rashad Evans and Jon Jones are even training partners, let alone friends.

“I regret it and apologize to the fans that actually really do give a (crap) about me, my loyal fans that follow me; I’m sorry for embarrassing you.” – Paul Daley apologizes for the Josh Koscheck incident.

“It would be an honor to fight a legend like B.J. Penn, one of my favorite fighters ever. If the call comes, I would take the fight in a second.” – Carlos Condit is willing to step in for an injured Jon Fitch against Penn.

“I’m still angry that I lost last fall, but like I told the guys I coached when I had a setback, being angry about it isn’t the solution.  Doing something about it is.” – Former UFC Heavyweight champ, Brock Lesnar, is looking for a solution against Junior dos Santos.

“In the UFC, I didn’t have a good experience before and now I have a chance to go back and redo it.” – Jorge Santiago hopes to make a better impression this go in the UFC.

UFC Primetime returns for UFC 129: St-Pierre vs. Shields

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