On Saturday, Jake Shields will finally be getting what he has been waiting his entire career for. That ever illusive title is so close that the welterweight can taste it. Unfortunately, standing in his way is a red hot Nick Thompson, who has won 12 consecutive fights. The two are set to battle it out for the open EliteXC welterweight title.
“Nick Thompson coming in on 12 wins in a row is going to be confident in his skills,” Shields told Sherdog.com. “He’s a big 170-pounder. But I’m feeling confident and I’m planning on ending his winning streak.”
For years, Shields has been one of the elite 170-pound fighters in the world, however he never managed to get a title shot with a major organization. At EliteXC’s “Unfinished Business,” he looks to capitalize on this long awaited opportunity, and legitimize himself as one of the best welterweights in the world.
“I want that belt!” Shields yelled in the silent gym.
He knows that the belt is just a material object. What he really wants is what the title signifies. It means that he is the best. And when you’re the best, everyone wants a piece of you.
“Ultimately, I do fighting because I love it, not for the belts,” said Shields. “But the belts are just a nice add-on and bonus to say, you know, you have a title here and there. And obviously it’s easier to market yourself and make more money when you’re a champ too. But ultimately, for me it’s about who I fight.”
Walking out of the cage on Saturday without the EliteXC belt isn’t an option for Shields. He knows that if he is at his best, nobody can beat him, especially Thompson, no matter how many consecutive fights he’s won.
“I feel like I’m at the top of my game,” he said. “I’m ready to hurt people. I’m just going to bring the pace and break him.”
And, when he has his hand raised at the end of the fight, don’t think that Shields will be satisfied with finally getting what he has waited for his entire career. In fact, it would just the beginning of even bigger things to come.
“Nothing is ever enough for me,” he explained. “I’m never satisfied with where I’m at.”