UFC 129: Shields Vs George St Pierre

An update! Ahh I apologise I find it so difficult sometimes to put in the articles and predictions, you know how busy life can be. But finally, here is an update for your reading pleasure. Please don?t hesitate to argue, lambast or complain via the comments section below.

UFC 129 Shields vs St-Pierre is definitely a match-up that has got people talking, and the buzz online was both noticeable and fairly constant up until last week, when the UK sun, bank holiday bonanza and shhh, Royal Wedding, started to take over. The card itself is a stacked one and throws up potential talking points everywhere, with Randy Couture taking on Machida, Ben Henderson Vs Bocek, Aldo Vs Hominick and the Strikeforce title holder in both competition and trash talking Nick Diaz getting into the octagon to face Rory Macdonald.

Jake Shields with the Strikeforce belt

St-Pierre Vs Shields ? Everyone has written off Shields, which may be a dangerous thing to do ? the only Elite XC Welterweight champ and former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion hasn?t lost a fight in 6 years, is a wrestling and submission freak (with his self-termed American Jiu Jitsu), is both hungry and explosive, and has training partners to die for. Fighting out of Cesar Gracie, he trains day in and day out with the current Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz, his brother Nate and Gilbert Melendez. Most recently, Shields has beaten the tough Martin Kampmann, previous UFC contender Dan Henderson, Robbie Lawler, the UK?s own Paul Daley and Jason ?Mayhem? Miller.

Even with an impressive scalps roll call, Georges St Pierre outdoes Shields here with a very different recents list, by having last lost in early 2007 (the infamous Matt Serra fight), and taking his record to 21-2 with wins over Koscheck, Hardy, Thiago Alves, BJ Penn, Fitch, Hughes and of course, the Serra rematch. To tellingly reinforce the apparent gulf in class, whilst ill, GSP dominated a very game Jason Miller back in 2005, where his expertise was plain for all to see.

In simple terms, GSP has basically run out of people to beat up. Shields has been written off by most, but his style of American Jiu Jitsu means that on the ground, any mistake by GSP could prove very costly. American Jiu Jitsu basically is a slow, methodical, wrestlers form of jiu jitsu, with suffocating, excellent top control and a grinding, ne?er rushed improvement of position. The only slightly contentious issue in this fight is the ground game, because if GSP makes any kind of error, he could find himself tapping faster than Charles Taylor when caught in a Rumina Sato flying armbar. (see below).

Shields couldn?t submit Hendo, Miller or Kampmann, so I hope he?s been working hard in the build up to this fight with GSP. For the record, BODOG have GSP 1 to 4 ON favourite to beat Shields?

The rest of my picks for UFC 129 are Machida, Aldo, Diaz, and Henderson ? Simply, is Randy going to be able to even lay a finger on Lloyto? Aldo is a machine, and now he?s in his prime and fighting at the top level, I expect a big performance from him. A match-up well worth watching is Bocek vs Henderson, with Bocek?s 2010 loss to Jim Miller being his most recent set back where he had problems on the ground, but Bocek and Henderson are both strong wrestlers as opposed to jiu jitsu phenoms, and Henderson has a lot to prove after losing to Pettis and his ninja training!