Monday, March 19, 2007

Elite XC Fighter Jake Shields

By William Davis

Jake Shields is an anomaly in Mixed Martial Arts. He’s been able to fight entirely on smaller shows while still getting world wide recognition for his skills. He is almost universally considered to be one of the top fighters in the 170 pound weight class.

Jake took time out of his schedule to discuss his deal with Elite XC, his tournament wins over Yushin Okami and Carlos Condit, and his career as a whole.

William Davis: Thanks for taking the time for the interview, Jake. You were recently in Costa Rica to take part in a BodogFight reality show. I know, due to contractual obligations, you can’t talk about any of the results, but can you give a basic outline of what the show is all about?

Jake Shields: It’s a great show. (BodogFight) brought us out to Costa Rica to fight. Right now, they have the Russia series (on ION network). They’ll probably show the Costa Rica show in a couple months.

William Davis: Have you signed a contract with Elite XC?

Jake Shields: Yeah. I signed a three fight deal with them. It’s not exclusive, so I can still fight on other shows as well.

William Davis: Will you be taking part in Elite XC’s June show?

Jake Shields: Yeah, I think it’s June 9th. I don’t have an opponent yet, but they’re working on it. I would like my opponent to be Frank Trigg, but I have a feeling he’ll turn it down.

William Davis: Is that your next scheduled fight?

Jake Shields: Yeah, right now it is. I’d like to fight sooner, but I don’t think Pro Elite wants me fighting right before the show (in June). So, I’ll probably just be training until then.

William Davis: Last year, at Rumble on the Rock, you had two tough 3 round fights against Yushin Okami and Carlos Condit. How tough were these fights for you, and how do you keep your conditioning at such a high level?

Jake Shields: Both those fights were really tough. They’re both really good fighters. Condit was really tough, that’s one of the tougher fights I’ve had. Condit tapped Trigg out in a minute (in his first fight of the night), so he was fresh. I had to just suck it up and go out and fight. To get in shape for that is tough. Obviously, running and sprints help. Hard sparring and a lot of strength and conditioning training to get my muscles ready for it. But it’s hard to be fully ready for something like that. A lot of it is just being mentally tough. Fighting in a tournament, if you have a tough first fight, it’s all about focusing and going out in fighting in the second.

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