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Cesar Gracie: I’m really surprised how well Jake Shields did punching GSP

By Zach Arnold | May 2, 2011

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Cesar Gracie made an appearance on Brian Hemminger’s radio show yesterday to discuss how his stable of fighters performed at UFC 129 in Toronto. There was plenty of quality red meat put on the grill during this interview in terms of choice quotes.

“I thought Jake probably performed the best out of everybody because it looked to me like, you know, he… if that fight kept going, Jake wins, is what it looked like to me. He hurt St. Pierre, broke his nose, popped his eye, and I was really surprised how well he did standing with the guy. I got him with a new boxing coach, this guy named Mario, and the guy really tuned up Jake’s game. He was throwing a great jab. He landed the right hand a couple of times really hard and I really think it caught GSP off-track to see how good Jake has come along in the stand-up department. Props to GSP for having excellent takedown defense and making it a stand-up fight where he thought he will win, but Jake came out to fight and I thought he looked really good. GSP has beaten everybody else up for the most part and made it very lopsided in his wins and, even though he was able to take the fight where he wanted it and that was standing, it looked like Jake did very well standing, you know, on his feet with him.”

Scream all you want, but the reality is that two judges (Nelson ‘Doc’ Hamilton and Richard Berstrand) both scored the fight 48-47 in favor of GSP. Want to know the reason for the close scoring? Damage. Get used to hearing this argument.

Of course, Cesar admitted during his interview with Brian that they did not want the fight standing up and, conversely, that’s all this bout ended up featuring.

“Actually, we did want that fight on the ground because I truly believe that Jake is superior on the ground than GSP and I think even GSP believes that, so that’s why you saw him not really wanting to engage. Georges’ had a couple of good takedowns and from top position he decided to get back up because I think he realized he was fighting the superior grappler and, you know, props to him. Jake had a leg a couple of times, GSP got out very well, it looked like a couple of times his leg just kind of slipped right out of there, you know, so it must have been really slippery or something, I don’t know. So, yeah, he defended all the takedowns and made it a stand-up fight, so…”

Remember the moment where Jake asked Gilbert Melendez about pulling guard? Not part of the script.

“No, it wasn’t part of the game plan, actually. I think they were just wanting to bring it to the ground and he was wondering, ‘hey, do you want me to pull guard?’ and was asking it was a good idea and Gilbert said, no, you know. I think with Jake even his guard is so good he’ll reverse position if they, if, you know… He was trying to find a way, you know, finish this fight. It’s a tough, tough fight for anyone fighting GSP because the guy’s a master at the point fighting thing. He’ll go with his striking a little bit and if he’s not doing that great standing, he’ll take you down. If he thinks he can pass guard, he will and try for a submission, if not he’ll just sit there and throw some strikes. With Jake, he really didn’t want to do either of those so he decided to stand and try to out-point him standing, which is what he did and I thought it was close. Again, at the press conference, Jake was there not looking too bad at all and Georges was at the hospital, so I don’t know. I thought Jake did great, really the amount of pressure, both guys looked extremely nervous, both Jake & GSP coming into that with 55,000 people when they first got in there and, you know, it’s one of those things.”

After the fight, it was made clear that Dana White is very interested in booking GSP vs. Nick Diaz soon. He’s visiting young Mr. Diaz in Stockton this week. Luke Thomas reported that Nick, at the post-fight press conference, expressed interest in fighting St. Pierre.

So, what will it take to make it happen? What are the roadblocks Cesar sees in the way of making that fight?

“I don’t know how bad is GSP’s eye, is he going to take six months off? And then why couldn’t Nick box and then go fight GSP, for example, that kind of scenario. Now, if the eye if not a really big problem and they want the next fight for GSP five months from now to be Nick Diaz, I mean obviously Nick would be, uh… he would be delaying quite a contract, a money-making contract in boxing so how would that, is he going to give up that all that money… I mean there’s so many questions right now and really the only (people) that has the answers to it are, you know, Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta, so I’m very much looking forward to meeting with those guys. Lorenzo’s a guy that I truly like the guy and Dana is a good guy, too, you know, a good businessman and we’re going to tell him our concerns and hopefully they have some answers for us and we’re waiting just like you guys.”

Translation: Make us an offer we can’t refuse.

As for how a battle between St. Pierre and Diaz would look if it was a stand-up war, we’ve seen GSP’s last two fights against Koscheck & Shields feature tons of stand-up. Cesar thinks that this kind of fight would be right in Nick’s wheelhouse.

“(Unlike other MMA fighters who throw wild haymakers) Nick doesn’t do that kind of style. What he’ll do is he’ll jab you. Some of them are very light, they just keeping touching you, touching you, you don’t know when the hard one’s coming in. Nick can throw a very hard punch, make no mistake about it. Most of his punches he’s just not throwing that hard in there. He times the hard shots. But he definitely hits very hard.

“Styles makes fights and I think, for example, Jake kind of, you know, he did really well standing. It’s no secret that Nick is, I think, probably has the best hands in MMA right now. He knocks out all the guys that are supposed to knock him out. There’s no question in my mind that GSP would not stand with Paul Daley, for example, but Nick did and knocked him out. Aside from all these guys that GSP would feel extremely threatened by, Nick would stand up with beat them up so I do not believe that GSP has better stand-up than Nick Diaz. I think Nick is the superior striker and if that was a stand-up I think Nick would come out on top. But it’s an interesting match-up because Nick’s jiu-jitsu is world-class, also. he has a great guard, he submits people, he doesn’t get hurt. That might be a nightmare for GSP and the only way to know that is if these two guys fight, so we’ll see what happens.”

If UFC management brings some briefcases full of cash to the Cesar Gracie camp, we probably will see Mr. Diaz fight Mr. St. Pierre as long as GSP doesn’t have serious eye damage. Let the hype train for that fight begin.

Topics: Canada, Media, MMA, StrikeForce, UFC, Zach Arnold | 26 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

26 Responses to “Cesar Gracie: I’m really surprised how well Jake Shields did punching GSP”

  1. fd says:

    So if you thumb GSP in the eye hard enough that he’s half-blind and has no depth perception, you can manage to lose a closer fight than his last several. I don’t think this is anything Shields or Cesar should be crowing about.

    I’d like to see GSP/Diaz because he’s pretty much the last name left in the welterweight division, but I have no expectation whatosever that Diaz will win. If anybody can give me any reason that it won’t look like GSP/Penn II with a fifth round, I’m all ears.

  2. Alexandre Mogue says:

    What thumb, watching replays during rounds, it was a punch.

  3. edub says:

    I’m not understanding why so many people are saying Diaz is the last name in the WW division GSP hasn’t beaten, and not Carlos Condit. Is it because of the streak against Cyborg, KJ Noons, Thomas Denny, Frank Shamrock, Scott Smith, and Daley? Because Condit has beaten better competition over the past 3 years, and probably should’ve taken the decision against Kampman. On top of that he’s already fought and beaten wrestlers. Diaz hasn’t since Gomi.

    It’s like everyone wants to buy into the hype of a championship belt, and just want to see GSP finish someone again.

    • The Gaijin says:

      Just a thought, but isn’t Condit a Jackson mma fighter? Does this pose any issues for them – like, does that mean Condit would have to leave since Jackson seems to want to side with the guys he knows will win? Or does GSP’s affiliation lie more with Tri-Star now?

      • edub says:

        Good question. I’m not sure how it would all work out, but I do know that Condit said in an interview a while back that if the opportunity arose to go up against GSP he would jump at it. There would be no hesitation because they train together.

        However, I’m not sure. You would think that GSP would just train at Tristar, and every where else he goes besides Jacksons, but who knows.

        • cutch says:

          Condit has already said he would fight GSP and he would train elsewhere if need be, that was before hiis fight with Dan Hardy (Condit’s)

  4. StupidUglyJerk says:

    The replay they kept showing of the punch to the eye isn’t what did to actual damage. If you watch the fight Jake jabs at him with his fingers fully extended a few times, not sure what he was trying to do, but the times he connected with fIngers to the eye were pretty brutal looking and lead to the “damage” factor.

  5. […] rough GSP up on the feet. From an interview with the Verbal Submission radio show, transcribed via Fight Opinion: “I thought Jake probably performed the best out of everybody because it looked to me like, you […]

  6. The Gaijin says:

    In the interesting oddball news category – looks like Shunichi Suzukawa (sumo dude that went “shooter” on Coleman at IGF and had Bob Sapp pulling out of a fight with him) got his karmic payback in the form of Jerome LeBanner’s fists to the dome. Weird looking “shootfight” at an IGF event, Suzukawa was bareknuckled and JLB was wearing boxing gloves it appears, not sure what the rules were. Zach any info? (nasty knockdown) (sweet KO)

  7. […] want big money to do it. From an interview with the Verbal Submission radio show, transcribed via Fight Opinion: “I don’t know how bad is GSP’s eye, is he going to take six months off? And then why […]

  8. EJ says:

    You know i’ve heard alot of bs from people over the years but nothing that i’ve read tops the sheer delusion and insanity coming from Cesar. The guy must have smoked away his braincells to even think that anything he said is close to being true. Honestly i’ve basically lost any respect I had for the guy after his commnets it’s no wonder that Nick is as messed up as he is when he has that nutjob in his ear.

    Shields did nothing but be ok with surviving 5 rounds with GSP, he couldn’t get close to taking him down and the only damage he did to him was blinding him with a poke in the eye. It’s a joke to try and claim some sort of moral victory when he fought an injured GSP for almost 4 rounds and still lost every round.

    As far as this bs with Diaz the idea that Dana and company are just going to bend over and give him anything he wants is a joke. Nick is under contract he can talk about going to boxing all he wants but we all know how the story ends whenever you get into a pissing contest with Zuffa you lost everytime. He will be no different, the days of being protected and pampered are over he either gets with the plan or he’ll find himself SOL better men than him have found that out just ask Couture.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      If Dana really wants the fight, he might up the money slightly. But if Diaz pushes too much, it’s going to look ugly real quick.

      As for Gracie…. At first I thought he was just trolling. But the more he talks, the more I think it’s just who he is. It’s not shocking. The Gracie’s in general are a delusional bunch. Royce Gracie still thinks he has one more UFC Level fight in him.

    • David M says:

      Dana is no idiot. He knows that Nick is the fight the fans want to see, and it is worth it to him to make it happen. GSP is losing his momentum as a ppv draw with his boring performances and a war with someone like Diaz could either give GSP’s ppv headliner status a much needed boost or create an instant staah in Diaz.

      BTW it is ironic that 45, Dana’s biggest fan, has been vociferously arguing against Diaz, not realizing that the UFC v Strikeforce war is over so it is ok to want to see Strikeforce fighters fight UFC champs. Dana certainly wants to see it, but I guess what does Dana White know that 45 doesn’t?

      • 45 Huddle says:

        What fans want to see GSP vs. Diaz?

        Sorry to burst your MMA Bubble…. But what is talked about online is notthe reality of the world. Most UFC Fans either don’t know about him or know very little. Go find a group of casual fans, and they will be like: “Diaz who?” or “Oh, I’ve heard of him. Is he that Strikeforce guy?”

        When have I been Dana’s biggest fan? I agree with him when he does good. Disagree when I have a different viewpoint. You are confusing my typical hatred of bad organizations for a love of all things Dana White….

        • David M says:

          LOL at you having your ear to the casual mma fan street. I think what actually happens in groups of friends is that there are some in the group who are serious mma fans, and others who are casual fans. The casual fans get their knowledge and formulate their opinions based on what they hear from the hardcore fans. Thus, casual fans are much more likely to want to see Diaz than Shields because hardcore fans know how exciting and crazy he is, whereas all hardcore fans except several on this board knew GSP was better than Jake at everything and that the latter had no shot to win.

          In re you being Dana’s biggest fan, I’m not going to dignify that with a response, haha.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          You have no response because I am right. I often disagree with what Dana White does.

          Look at the ratings. 1.5 Million to 2 Million plus people see UFC events on average. Strikeforce gets 500,000 and it’s considered a huge success.

          Not to mention all the replays on SpikeTV.

          Showtime has never been a good avenue for MMAas it doesn’t reach enough eyeballs. Which is why Diaz isn’t that well known right now.

      • Isaiah says:

        It is disappointing how the buyout has not really prevented irrational attachments.

        It does seem like the UFC is planting the seeds for Diaz/GSP, maybe because the prefight trash-talking from Diaz would be epic and a nice contrast with GSP’s pre-fight style. Plus, GSP would have a chance to really look impressive in the fight. Nice formula. Villain gets his comeuppance, and GSP improves his stock going into a fight with Silva. That’s not to sell Diaz short, as I think he’s a terrific fighter (and I certainly don’t hold losses from when he was 22 years old against him), but stylistically, GSP is a nightmare for him.

  9. Kelvin Hunt says:

    lol@ Cesar saying Shields did damage to GSP…how does he know he broke GSP’s nose? Cause it was bleeding? *Newsflash…if watched the countdowns and primetimes…GSP has a scab on the bridge of his nose that hasn’t healed up…that’s all Shields did is open that scab up and caused GSP’s nose to bleed…it’s not like it was a new cut…lol.

    • edub says:

      It get’s even better. Now he’s saying Diaz is a bigger star than GSP.

    • David M says:

      Seriously, you don’t think Shields did damage to GSP? Did you see his face? I think GSP clearly won at least 4 rounds and probably won all 5, but to say Shields didn’t do any damage is not really accurate.

  10. blaine says:

    broke his nose?!?!? Just cesar being cesar, I guess. Maybe frank shamrock was righteous rocking this guy’s melon years’ ago.


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