Strikeforce's Jake Shields: "I'm Still Way Away from My Prime"
Jake Shields is a man on a mission. He has taken every challenge thrown at him in the last five years and has not succumbed to defeat. From challengers like Carlos Condit and Yushin Okami, to Paul Daley and Robbie Lawler, Shields has been dominant.
Now, on Nov. 7, Shields's next challenge is sure to be a bout full of mayhem, as Jason "Mayhem" Miller will be next in line for Shields and will try to become the first man since Akira Kikuchi back in 2004 to hand Jake Shields a loss.
Shields recently spoke to Bleacher Report's Nick Colon about his upcoming bout with Miller, as well as a few other hot topics:
Nick : So Jake, how has camp been over the last few weeks and what have you worked on to get ready for this fight against Jason Miller on Nov. 7?
Jake : The camp?s been going great! I feel like I?m in great shape and great in every aspect, my grappling, my striking, everything feels good. I feel strong, got my weight up, and I?m feeling stronger than before. As far as what I?ve worked on, I?m working on everything like always, every aspect of my game and I?m trying to do whatever I can.
N : Jake, you?ve been on an absolute tear lately, winning fights over guys like Nick Thompson, Robbie Lawler, and Paul Daley. How do you plan on making Miller another one of your impressive victories?
J : I think I?m still getting better. I think I?m still way away from my prime. I?m still confident right now, and I?m just going to go out there and bring it to him. I think it?s going to be a tough fight, and I?m certainly not looking past this fight. It?s a tough fight but I?m prepared for the fight and I plan on going in there and submitting him or knocking him out at some point in the fight.
N : Can you tell fans out there what it?s like being a member of Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and how great is it training with guys like Nick and Nate Diaz on a daily basis?
J : It?s awesome because they train really hard and really good together. Also, I?m really good friends with them. We?ve been together for over eight years now, so it?s kind of nice to come in as opposed to other places and it?s cool to be a part of it there.
N : Now, Jake, many fight fans out there think that your true home lies in a place you?ve never fought, which is the UFC.* What do you think about the prospect of coming to the UFC and how do you feel about the competition Strikeforce offers you compared to the UFC?
J : Coming to the UFC has always been a wish of mine. You know, I?ve talked to them on and off over the last few years, you know, and I love the UFC fans. It?s definitely where I?d like to be someday; but at the same time, Strikeforce has treated me great. I?m very happy with them and they have great competition so, you know, I?m taking it one fight at a time and we?ll see where it goes from there.
N : There?s a lot of talk about which weight class you should be fighting at, whether it?s 185 or 170. Which class do you feel most comfortable in and what class do you see yourself fighting in for the future?
J : I most comfortable fighting at 170, but I definitely will be fighting at both weight classes in the future. I fight for the challenge, and to challenge myself, so I?ll go wherever a challenge is.
N : We?ve got some tough questions for you here Jake. You think you?re ready for them?
J : Okay, no problem.
N : Jake, who has the best submission skills over at Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu?
J : You know, that?s obviously a tough question. There?s a ton of good guys there, but, you know, probably Nick [Diaz]. It?s close, but I?d probably say Nick. Although you really see him box in his fights (chuckle)!
N : That?s very true! Who would you say is the most well rounded fighter in your camp and why?
J : I think everyone?s well rounded, you know? All the top guys. We?ve either got really good standup or ground, so I can?t say someone on that one.
N : How about striking? Could you say who is the best striker?
J : Eh, so many good striking battles. Can?t really say. Depends on the day...we beat each other up (chuckle).
N : Has Nick ever gotten the best of you?
J : Oh yeah, of course. You know, we train together so we take turns beating each other up. It helps both of us out though but we definitely know each other and he?ll get the best of me.
N : There?s also been talk about you two fighting each other both in the future and in the past. I?ve talked to guys like Jon Fitch, who have no interest in fighting other members of their camp. Do you feel the same way about your camp?
J : Yeah, I have no interest in fighting Nick. It?d have to be some certain offer of money, to make it worthwhile.
N : Well, what kind of money would that be?
J : I guess if they?d offer me a million dollars to fight tomorrow then I?d do it. But by the time they?d offer me a million dollars I?d get close to that in a fight somewhere else so, I?d turn it down. I mean, I?ll fight him tomorrow if they give me that contract but otherwise, no way. Nothing under a million dollars.
N : Who would Jake Shields like to fight the most in any promotion out there right now and why?
J : Any promotion? I?d pick GSP because he?s at my best weight and he?s the king of that division so if you want to be king you?ve got to beat the guy on top. So, I?d love to get the opportunity to fight him.
N : Jake, I?m going to mention three fighters. Tell me who would win in a fight and why.
J : Okay.
N : You versus Vitor Belfort?
J : I think that?d be an awesome fight. There was actually talk about it a few months ago before he signed over at the UFC. That would be a really tough fight but I think he has better striking but I?d take him to the ground and finishing him here. But Vitor?s a phenomenal fighter and that would be a great fight.
N : What about you versus Anderson Silva?
J : Anderson Silva? Again, I think that?d be a great fight. I think I actually match up pretty well with Anderson. He?s easily the best striker in all of MMA but if you?re going to beat him, I?m the prototype to beat him. Take him down and keep him down, so again, I?d try to put him on the ground and try to submit him and hopefully it would go my way.
N : And how about a fight that you had just talked about, you versus Georges St. Pierre and how would that go?
J : You know, that?s an interesting matchup because he?s so hard to take down and that?s kind of what I do. He has interesting stand up and I think that would be a really tough fight. If it was stand up it would be an all out war and it?s an interesting fight. Hopefully it?ll get signed...at some point (chuckle)!
N : Last question here Jake. If you could make a dream fight happen right now in the world, who would it be?
J : Well, any fight I?d be in I?d take myself first. But as a fan, I?d probably want to see GSP fight Anderson Silva. I think that?s an interesting matchup and umm Fedor versus Brock Lesnar.
N : And if you had to pick those fights who would you pick?
J : I think Fedor would probably destroy Brock, but you never know with the size difference. As far as GSP against Silva, I think that GSP would take that fight. Stylistically he?s someone who can take people down and hold them there. But I think GSP would if he wanted to take that fight.
N : Anyone to thank before I let you go?
J : Yeah, my whole team of course and my sponsors Champion Nutrition, EA Sports, Rockstar energy drink, and TAPOUT.
N : Jake, thank you so much for taking this on short notice and I?d really love to do it again sometime.
J : Yeah, no problem.