Jake Shields (top) is not a common wrestler. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Cesar Gracie joined the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show” on Wednesday to discuss Jake Shields’ title bout this weekend against Georges St. Pierre at UFC 129.
Gracie, who trains Shields, talked about how his fighter can beat the UFC welterweight champion. In particular, he explained where St. Pierre has the advantage, where Shields is better and why mixing it up is important.
Gracie on Shields’ worst position against St. Pierre: “Not on his back. Jake is awesome on his back. You saw when he fought Dan Henderson, you saw that Henderson couldn’t control him when he was on top position. Jake won every scramble. Jake ended up on top position from every scramble. I don’t have a problem with Jake on his back. Jake in top position is going to be a nightmare. The worst position is standing in front of Georges St. Pierre thinking about what you’re going to do next and Georges is doing it. You just can’t stand there without any head movement and expect things to go your way because it’s not going to happen.”
On his belief that Shields will sweep GSP: “I think in five rounds, barring someone getting knocked out or something, it’s going to go to the ground. If Georges St. Pierre is on top, I think [a sweep] is going to happen. Jake is not a common wrestler. I think Chuck Liddell brought that up the other day on Dana’s video blog when they were discussing it. Jake doesn’t wrestle the way a wrestler wrestles. He doesn’t do the thing you expect him to do. He’s kind of an awkward guy to grapple with, is what it is. I think that if Jake can just mix it up, he’s going to win the scrambles. I think that’s where the fight is.”
On how GSP wins fights: “You can’t stand in front of Georges St. Pierre. You stand in front, his speed is going to get you. He’s too quick. His jab, his superman punch, people get caught when they’re standing there looking at him. You hesitate with that guy, he’s going to pull the trigger. That’s how he punishes people and ends up winning fights. We saw it time and time again. We saw it with Fitch. We saw it with Koscheck. That’s pretty much it. Now when he can’t win the standup battle, he resorts to taking people down. Takes them down, and he controls the pace on the ground. He punishes people from top position. He’s got a great jiu-jitsu coach in John Danaher and he doesn’t get tapped out.”
On what Shields has to do to win: “Jake doesn’t have the speed he’s got on the feet. He’s going to have to mix it up. He’s going to have to have GSP commit. He’s going to have to get the tie-up. He’s going to have to clinch with him, take this to enemy territory on the ground, where Jake feels really good, and he’s going to have to submit that little French Canadian. That’s about it.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 36:15).