A fighter with the talent and legacy such as Jake Shields is always a frightening proposition for an upcoming opponent.
Fighting a Jake Shields who is stuck in the midst of a two-fight losing streak is something not every MMA fighter can prepare for. And though he admits that he’s in a must-win situation, Shields says he’s not desperate.
“I’m definitely in a situation where I need to win,” Shields told Sherdog.com in a recent interview. “But I don’t think that I’m desperate. Yeah, I lost two in a row but it wasn’t like I got dominated. I thought I got robbed in that fight against [Rousimar] Palhares because I thought I was dominating him until he gouged my eye. I fell apart in that fight once that happened. And then with [Jon] Fitch, well, he’s one of the best in the world.”
Shields is set to face Danny Davis Jr. in one of the featured bouts of Professional Fighters League: Everett on Saturday night at Xfinity Arena in Everett, Wash. Davis is a solid professional who has been around the block for nearly a decade, but Shields admits that he’s not overly worried about what he’ll try inside the cage.
“He’s a good fighter,” he said. “He’s a tough guy but I don’t know how tough he really is. He’s good and has beaten some good guys, but compared to the elite-level guys that I fought, there’s really no comparison. There really isn’t anything that he brings to the table that I haven’t already seen. I mean, I’ve beaten guys like Dan Henderson, [Demian] Maia, [Tyron] Woodley and Robbie Lawler. No offense to Danny, but he’s not in the same league with those guys.”
With that said, is it difficult for someone like Shields, who has taken on the absolute best of the best throughout his career, to get excited or amped up for an opponent like Davis?
“Kind of,” he admitted. “I mean, I’m always going to come in the best shape of my life and prepare to fight the best opponent there is. But, Danny is, like, .500 in his career and I don’t really see what he can do in there against me when I’ve already faced the kind of guys I have faced over the years.”
With the newly-formed PFL, which arose from the ashes of the now-defunct World Series of Fighting, Shields is excited about the promotion’s plans moving forward. The PFL is going to host several smaller events until the end of the year before kicking off their inaugural season, which is going to be a year-long grand prix-style tournament, with the winner of each weight class set to win a million dollars. It’s something Shields is amped up for, but he has reservations.
“Well, it’s something that can be amazing,” he said. “If they can pull off everything they have planned, there’s no telling where this can take us as a sport. This is something we need and on paper, it’s amazing.
“The only thing,” he added, “is that I really don’t know exactly how they are going to do it. I don’t know any of the details other than what you guys know. They haven’t told me anything, really. Not that they have to because it’s their company and they can do what they want, but I am kind of in the dark as to what they are going to do.”
Shields said he believes that he will play an integral part in the initial growth of the PFL and expects to be fighting throughout the year in the PFL season. He also said he has somewhat of a new lease on life in his career as he’s changed quite a bit of things since dropping a decision to Fitch last December.
“I have a lot of things planned for after the Davis fight,” he said. “I have a grappling match coming up in a few weeks and I’m planning on doing Abu Dhabi. I moved to New York and have been training here with some of the best guys in the world and it’s been great. Everything starts with Davis and from there, who knows what will happen? I contemplated maybe stepping away from MMA after the Fitch fight but with this new camp in New York, I don’t think that will happen for a while now.”