EliteXC welterweight champion Jake Shields will be taking the cage this Saturday at “EliteXC: Heat” doing something that he has never done before, defend a title. Shields waited a very long time to get a significant title belt, and he intends on keeping it even longer. He will be facing a very game opponent in Paul Daley, however if you ask Shields, Daley isn’t all that dangerous.
“I think he’s a tough opponent, but I don’t think he’s my toughest fight to date,” Shields told Sherdog.com. “He’s certainly … he’s dangerous. He’s probably the best stand-up fighter I’ve faced, but I think I’ve probably fought tougher competition before.”
If he isn’t the toughest guy that Shields has faced, who is?
“I fought a lot of good guys, so it’s hard to compare, but guys like [Yushin] Okami, Hayato Sakurai,” he stated. “I fought [Kazuo] Misaki and Carlos Condit. I’ve fought quite a few tough guys.”
Daley’s accomplishments prove that he is more than a worthy challenger. He has won his last six fights, and is the reigning Cage Rage champion. Shields knows that he better come prepared for a war, because like Shields was, Daley too has been hungry to win a significant title.
“You know, he’s probably the number one guy for [EliteXC] right now contending for the shot,” Shields said. “I don’t think he’s had the kind of competition I’ve had to deserve the shot, but I guess as far as our sport goes, he deserves it.”
Daley has a strong Muay Thai background, and as usual, his stand up will be sharp. Out of his 18 wins, 14 have come via knockout or TKO. Shields is well aware of Daley’s knockout prowess, however doesn’t seem to be worried in the least.
“In a fight … I’ve never really been rocked that bad,” Shields stated. “Other than that, I’ve never really been hit so hard in a fight. In training, I’ve been hit lots of times. Gilbert Melendez, Nick Diaz — these guys always hit me. Luckily, I’ve never been knocked out, but they’ve given me some hard shots.”
When you have Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano fighting on the same card, it is tough to gain much attention, even if you are a champion. However, this Paul Daley and Jake Shields showdown could very well be the fight of the night. Don’t blink.