One of the biggest drawbacks to being the coolest kids on campus is that everybody and their mothers want a piece of you. As their UFC 129 showdown steadily approaches, welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre and Jake Shields are experiencing some of the longest days of their lives in order to promote their record-setting scrap.
“They have me getting up at seven in the morning doing interviews, which is four in the morning my time [in California],” Shields stated during Thursday’s conference call. “It seems kind of ridiculous to me. I know Georges is dealing with it, too.
“But I put training first. I squeeze my interviews in between training, but I haven’t missed one training session because of it. So that’s all that really matters.”
Shields shut his cell phone off for a few hours the other day. By the time he powered it back on, the former Strikeforce middleweight champ had roughly 30 interview requests. If Shields is receiving that kind of attention, imagine what’s expected of the most marketable athlete in the game.
“The worst part is, it’s bad because it messes up your sleep time,” St-Pierre shared.” But when you’re champion, you have to be ready to make the sacrifice. People forget sometimes that what pays us [are] the fans, and the fans want to know what’s going on with us.
“It’s not fun, but we have to do it.”
The welterweights will set a North American attendance record when they meet in front of 55,000 screaming Canadians inside the Rogers Centre in Toronto. The show has been sold out for several months, so they’re hoping the added oomph they’ve put towards pre-fight promotion will pay off with extra pay-per-view buys.
Speaking of making money, GSP has long received a percentage of the PPV revenue generated in the events he’s participated in. This broadcast should mark Shields’ first bonus of the kind. Win, lose or draw, there will be some significantly richer folks once the curtain is drawn on April 30th.