This is in no way a knock on Jake Shields, his abilities or his accomplishments.
It's just a higher praise of Georges St. Pierre's.
At UFC 129, fans will in all likelihood be treated (or disappointed) to another St. Pierre domination bout. This fight has a little more juice to it than his previous ones though.
In Shields' debut in the UFC octagon, he looked like a man that was frustrated and unenthusiastic. He was thoroughly out punched by UFC vet Martin Kampmann, proven by the fight's FightMetric report—yet Shields won a controversial split decision en route to his current title shot against St. Pierre.
Simply put, he didn't look like the Jake Shields fighter fans have come to see, or even the fighter Joe Rogan praises in the UFC 129 promo for beating Yushin Okami and Carlos Condit in one night.
St. Pierre too, has an impressive list of UFC wins, and arguably against a better slew of opponents. Since his loss to Matt Serra in 2007, St. Pierre has reeled off eight consecutive wins over the likes of Matt Hughes, Josh Koscheck (twice), Thiago Alves, B.J. Penn, and Dan Hardy—all in dominant fashion.
Of Shields' 26 wins, half of them have come via decision, with 10 more coming by way of submission. In his 10 submissions victories, 8 of 10 have come in the first round, meaning Shields' greatest, and possibly only chance of beating St. Pierre is quickly—not very likely for a fighter who has shown great endurance and cardiovascular supremacy over nearly all of his foes in his career.
If St. Pierre comes out on top with a win Saturday night, expect to see the MMA world buzzing Sunday morning about a superfight with middleweight kingpin Anderson "The Spider" Silva.