It wasn’t the bout that EliteXC welterweight champion Jake Shields was hoping for, but it could certainly prove to be his toughest test to date. Shields will be making his first ever title defense against a game Paul Daley on October 4th. Both fighters come in on impressive winning streaks, as Daley is unbeaten in his last six fights and Shields hasn’t lost in almost 4 years.
“I think it’s a good fight,” Shields told MMAWeekly.com. “He’s got great stand-up. I actually haven’t seen that many of his fights. I’ve got to start watching him fight. He’s a young kid, tough, so obviously I’m going to take him serious, start watching tapes and figure it out from there.”
Shields will have to settle for Daley, even though he had mentioned last week that he was considering moving up a weight class and taking on a top tier middleweight in another organization. At the time, Shields did not confirm who the 185-pounder was, nor which organization. However, as reported by 5thRound.com, it was to be Affliction fighter Matt Lindland.
“I really wanted to fight (Matt) Lindland, but maybe that one can be put on in the future,” Shields stated. “Right now, I’m looking at Daley, getting this win … He’s a legit opponent.”
“I was very disappointed, but at this point all you can do is move on and get through the fight in front of you,” Shields added. “I was a little disappointed I didn’t get to do the (Lindland) fight, but at least Elite is treating me really good and you know, they didn’t give me that fight, but they put me on CBS, gave me another good fight and I hear they’re trying to get me (Shinya) Aoki.”
Aoki is a top ranked lightweight that Shields has had his eye on for quite some time. However, niether he nor Aoki’s side have been able to make the fight happen.
“I guess they were trying to get Aoki, but he’s got no bushido,” Shields said. “I don’t think Aoki wants to fight me. He’s got no warrior spirit. He’s from Japan, who’d have thought?”
It is clear that Shields’ intentions are to fight the best that is available, whether that fighter is in his weight class or not. But for now, he knows that he must get past Daley before he thinks about fighting other guys.
Although he is still early in his preparation for Daley, his strategy is plain and simple.
“I’d like to take him down and submit him,” he commented. “I’m definitely not going to try and knock him out, but anything’s possible. I’m going to throw some punches.”