Georges St. Pierre represents perhaps the finest example of control in the entire sport. He keeps the fight standing if he wants to (Josh Koscheck) and he keeps the fight on the ground if he wants to (Thiago Alves). Shields's coach Cesar Gracie however, believes that GSP will not be able to control Shields on the ground. Further, Gracie believes that GSP's has never shown heart.
“GSP’s never fought someone on this kind of level in his life ... A lot of people will point out to the guys GSP has fought, Matt Serra, BJ Penn, but those are 155-pounders that are fighting GSP at 170. Those are guys that can make 155. I mean, Jake cannot make 155 unless you cut his legs off or something, it’s not going to happen. Jake, like Joe Rogan said, I think he’s the best grappler (GSP) has ever encountered. So if it gets into grappling and scrambling, I feel really good about that.”
“I’m not as concerned about his strength as Jake can deal with enormous strength. I’m not concerned with anything like that. But the biggest thing in this fight is the speed that GSP brings to the table. He throws a jab, he drops his other hand, he throws a right hand Superman punch whatever you want to call it, he does a lot of things that you’re not going to do in traditional boxing where someone will make you pay for it. But because he’s so quick at it, it works for him and so his explosiveness and his speed are the biggest attributes that he’s bringing to the table for this fight. And, accordingly, we’re trying to have Jake deal with that.”
“I’ve never seen anything from GSP’s toughness in regards to taking a beating. He’s a great hammer. Let’s see him when he’s the nail. And that’s the biggest thing, you know, I did see him tap out to Serra from strikes and, you know, could you imagine Nick Diaz tapping out to strikes? I can’t. It wouldn’t happen. You’d have to kill him and it still wouldn’t happen.
"So, you know, Jake has to put GSP in some deep water like that and really see what he’s made out because GSP is such a phenomenal athlete. He doesn’t have to, he can always be the hammer in his fights, he can always punish people and punish them. I want to see what happens when he’s getting punished.t.
"When BJ Penn in their very first fight, BJ was starting to punish him, first round it was all BJ, lighting him up on his feet. So what did GSP second round said, hey, I don’t like this, I’m going to clinch, I’m going to take you down, I’m going to win on points and that’s exactly what he did. If he happens to take Jake to the mat, you cannot hold Jake down. I’ll be surprised if GSP can hold Jake down. I think he’ll get up, I think he’ll get up on top of him ... So, this is a great match-up.”
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Unfortunately, due to visa restrictions, Cesar will not be at UFC 129 to corner all three of his students who on the card - Jake Shields, Nate Diaz, and Robert 'Ninja' Roberts.
"I don't have the American passport thing going – I have the whole Brazilian thing, and I had issues getting a visa over there," Cesar Gracie today told MMAjunkie.com Radio. "I'm going to watch like you guys on TV."
"When my cousin Ralph (Gracie) fought there a long time ago, I got in a little issue. I was supposed to go up there, and we sent Nino Schembri instead because I couldn’t get into the country."
"Nick Diaz is heading out there, and that should be good – or bad, I don’t know," joked Gracie, whose team has become one of the most prominent in MMA. "Gilbert Melendez is going out there too."
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