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UFC 129 Conference Call Highlights: St. Pierre, Shields, and White

The UFC is less than two weeks away from the biggest show in promotional history in the form of UFC 129, a card set to draw the largest North American crowd for a MMA event since the sport’s inception.

The company held a conference call today featuring headliners Georges St. Pierre and Jake Shields, and Five Ounces of Pain was on hand to glean the following interesting soundbytes and/or nuggets of information…

Georges St. Pierre:

– Says the Octagon is the same no matter how many people are in attendance
– “I want to fight the best, I want to be the best. I don’t want to be a paper champion. I want to be a real champion.”
– Gives credit to Shields for having beaten top guys at middleweight which is something he’s never done
– Says there is always pressure regardless of the opponent or environment but feels he performs better when it’s higher as may be the case given the event’s location and opponent
– Says the motivation for Shields isn’t that different than for someone like Josh Koscheck who he dislikes on a personal level because both are skilled opponents / “I think Jake is a true champion. I think someone who trash-talks is because of lack of confidence. Jake doesn’t trash-talk because he’s a humble guy.”
– “I want to take him out. I want to use my technique, my skills, and take him out.”
– “There is a thin line between confidence and being cocky. I don’t want to be cocky, but I always knew when I started fighting – I had this strong confidence in myself – and I knew I would become great. I really believe deep down in my heart that I could be the greatest.”
– Cites Roy Jones Jr.’s decision to move up and down in weight as reminding him of the dangers involved in switching divisions, is not even considering moving up at the moment and is only focused on Shields
– St. Pierre offers praise to Shields, saying he knew he was going to beat Robbie Lawler and Dan Henderson, and says Shields’ grappling is more dangerous than a knockout punch / “In this fight the bar is raised higher (for me) than it’s ever been before.”
– Thinking Shields is an underdog is a “trap” for him, is “ridiculous”
– Says he weigh about 185 right now
– “I really liked my fight with Thiago Alves and Jon Fitch. I won a decision, that’s true, but there’s a lot of things that happened that I was working on in training.”
– Talks about how dangerous Shields’ grappling is and that it pisses him off when people discredit his ability
– Not concerned with how Shields is preparing as long as he feels he has done everything in training he needs to do and is in the best shape possible
– “I’m honored and glad to be fighting on this card. I want to give the fans the win. There’s a lot of emotion and a night I will remember for the rest of my life.”
– Says he would be heartbroken if he lost because of how much he’s put into getting ready for the fight and because it’s a fight he’s been looking forward to for a long time
– Is focusing on MMA, not making the Canadian Olympic Wrestling Team as he’d talked about in the past

Jake Shields:

– Says it helps to have guys out of his weight-class to train with like Nick Diaz and Gilbert Melendez because of what they offer as fighters
– Is “really glad” to have the family atmosphere created by training with such close friends
– Got his weight in check a long time ago and says he is currently 182 pounds, won’t experience the same fatigue as he did against Martin Kampmann
– Still getting used to dealing with media and says the increased attention has been one of the more difficult aspects of training
– Thinks his style is unique and dangerous because he combines wrestling/BJJ so well
– Says GSP has very few holes in his game and the ones that do exist are fairly small
– Gives GSP credit for deciding to train with top notch Jiu-Jitsu guys
– Says he was a little surprised to come in as such a major underdog (4:1) but it doesn’t bother him, doesn’t see himself as an underdog / “In my mind I’m going out there and I’m going to win.”
– Had wanted to fight St. Pierre for a long time but is interested in Anderson Silva as well
– Is open to moving back up to 185 but admits it takes a lot of work to switch divisions and would prefer to fight a few times at welterweight first before looking at a return to MW
– Thinks the crowd-size could work to his advantage and won’t know for sure until fight night
– “I think me a Georges are both prepared for an absolute war.”


– Dana White is not on today’s call as had been originally planned for undisclosed reasons
– Neither man feels he is representing their respective country because MMA is a global sport
– A reminder that the show starts at 9:00 PM EST


  • boomnutz says:

    I know a lot of you guys don’t like watching either of these guys fight, but if the fight hits the mat, I think people should realize that we’re seeing probably the 2 very best functional ground fighters in all of MMA go to war!!!! i’m fucking pumped!!!!!!!!!

  • davis says:

    Looking forward to this card. It already seems like it’s been too long since Shogun/Jones and even Diaz/Daley. I know I’m spoiled, Damn it.

  • Creature says:

    Im more pumped for this card than i was for ufc 100, rashad vs rampage, or even ufc 117 with silva and sonnen.. im gonna have some excitement goosebumps as soon as the main card starts :)

  • YetiLee says:

    Being Canadian I love GSP, but if I had to go with my gut then I see Jake taking this fight. I have been saying for years that the only person I could see beating GSP was Shields. Either way I think this fight is going to be much better than anybody thinks it will be. I am still pulling for GSP but with the odds the way they are, I put my money on Shields but my heart is with GSP.

  • Im lookin forward to this card as a whole. Both of these guys have wanted a shot at each other and they both get it now….it’ll be very interesting to see what each other’s gameplans are for each other…primarily what’s GSP gonna do when he’s got a better grappler on top of him?

  • bigbadjohn says:

    This fight will be very similar to the recent Koschek one. “Jab and out, jab and out” 5 rounds to zero: GSP

  • mu_shin says:

    Picking up on Boomnutz’s point, when I read those comments from guys criticizing GSP for not finishing fights and saying Jake Shields is a “lay and pray” specialist, I have to wonder what it is some fans want from the fighters, and what they think MMA is all about.

    Having watched this sport from it’s inception, and participated in a peripheral way studying submission grappling as an adjunct to ballistic martial arts, what I’m seeing in both Shields and St. Pierre is the true hybrid synthesis that defines modern mixed martial arts. Both of these guys have worked not only to sharpen and enhance their strengths, but have put major effort and emphasis on training toward their perceived deficiencies. I don’t think any MMA athletes have ever worked harder than these two, both of whom seem to have picked up on the work ethic of a guy like Randy Couture and taken it to a new level.

    For all the approbation that has been pointed toward the Greg Jackson approach to winning by attrition and doing only as much as it takes to win, I believe St. Pierre is going to have to engage in a major way, really go to war if he wants to win this fight and answer all the critics. While I see incredible advances in his hand speed and general striking prowess, I’m not sure that can translate into a crushing one punch knockout in this case. Excelling in the stand up game also entails defensive skills, which I think GSP can apply well against Shields, countering well and using the jab to set up power shots, It may go five, but if it does, I’d see GSP having his hand raised.

    I know I’ve written about it previously, but I keep thinking about how few fans gave Jake Shields a chance in hell against Dan Henderson, and he got the job done. This is a world class, fully mature martial arts champion, who will not be star-struck, who will not be fazed by a championship fight, and who has worked just as hard as his opponent to earn this victory. While Shields’ resume may seem lacking to some fans, he has fought successfully against his last 15 opponents, and in my mind presents the most serious challenge to the UFC welterweight title that St. Pierre has faced in his tenure. Here’s hoping this turns out to be the great match we all hope it will, and unquestionably, the winner of this fight will be the best 170 pound fighter on the planet…


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