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UFC 129 Results: Cesar Gracie Surprised at Jake Shields' Striking Skills vs. GSP

HOLLYWOOD - MARCH 17:  Strikeforce World Middleweight Champion Jake Shields attends the CBS' Strikeforce MMA Fighters Open Media Workout on March 17, 2010 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
Valerie Macon/Getty Images
Tony PrestonCorrespondent IMay 5, 2011

In the main event last Saturday, fans saw Georges St-Pierre defend his welterweight title against Jake Shields.  The bout was mostly a striking battle that saw GSP take the decision.

According to Fight Opinion, Cesar Gracie was surprised at how well Shields fared when the fight was standing.

Gracie commented, "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."

Gracie credits a change in coaches for the improvement. "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."

The game plan for the fight however was to take the fight to the ground, "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."

Unfortunately for Shields, his improved striking was not enough to earn him the victory.  Shields now waits to see who his next opponent will be in his quest to gain another title shot.

GSP is also waiting to see who the next challenger to his title will be.  Much of the hype points to Shields' teammate and current Strikeforce welterweight champion, Nick Diaz.

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