Georges St. Pierre (21-2) will defend his UFC Welterweight Title at UFC 129 at the Rogers Centre, in front of an estimated 55,000 fans and media. "Rush" has successfully defended the title five times and hasn't lost since he was upset by Matt Serra back in April of 2007 at UFC 69. St. Pierre will face former Strikeforce champion Jake Shields (26-4-1).
There has been much hype for a fight between St. Pierre and UFC Middleweight champion Anderson "The Spider" Silva, however, as St. Pierre said at a UFC press conference in Toronto, he hasn't given much thought, if any, to the perennial super-fight.
"It would be foolish to look past Jake Shields, he poses the biggest threat to my title, he's a very well-rounded fighter and the UFC brought him in and I am glad they did because he is the number one guy for the welterweight title and as a champion, I’m a proud champion, I want to fight the best guy and I’m going to fight Jake Shields and I’m happy to do so," said St. Pierre.
Shields was also at the press conference and said that though the talks of St. Pierre vs. Silva continue, he thinks it would be a big mistake to be overlooked and that he plans on spoiling the super-fight altogether.
That talk is warranted, Shields is on a tear through the MMA world and is one of the more recognizable names in the sport. He is on a 15-fight winning streak and hasn't lost since 2004. Shields credits year-round training for his success.
"I think most of the top fighters nowadays don’t take time off so I may train a little lighter for a month here or there but I’ve been pretty much training non-stop since (fighting Martin) Kampmann. My weight was so heavy so I wanted to get my weight down so I got that down, I’ve just been training, yeah, trying to pick up new skills and constantly trying to get better cause GSP is probably my toughest fight ever so I’m trying to do everything I can to be ready.”
St. Pierre also trains year-round and spoke about how it is not only a sport, but a livelihood as well.
“I’m training all the time, I’m not training because I have a fight coming up, I’m training because it’s my lifestyle and after (the Koscheck fight), I took a Sunday off and I was training a little bit. I’m not gonna say I was training just as hard as I’m training when I’m getting ready for a fight, you know, with the same intensity, but I always train, trying to get better, my mentality is when I go in bed at night, I know I’m a better martial artist as when I wake up in the morning and that’s what I do every day.”
St. Pierre has not always been known as a knockout artist, four of his five title defenses have gone to decision but to his credit, it hasn't been for a lack of trying.
St. Pierre broke Josh Koscheck's orbital bone, nearly snapped Dan Hardy's arm in half, Thiago Alves was utterly schooled on the ground and BJ Penn was beaten so bad, there was a corner stoppage after the end of the fourth round.
St. Pierre said that it would be nice to get a knockout or a submission and that is what he will be looking for, however, he admits in this business, things don't always go according to plan.
We will have to see what happens and what questions will be answered inside the Rogers Centre on April 30.