Shields predicts St-Pierre over Hendricks, hopes to work back to 'GSP' rematch
"St-Pierre vs. Hendricks is a good fight," Shields told MMAjunkie.com. "I think it's a really exciting fight and one I want to watch. But ultimately, I think 'GSP' is so good at what he does. He's such a smart fighter."
Shields, of course, fought St-Pierre in the main event of UFC 129, the record-setting UFC event that featured a crowd of more than 55,000 fans at Toronto's Rogers Centre. While St-Pierre didn't necessarily have his best night, Shields couldn't capitalize and wound up losing by unanimous decision.
St-Pierre (24-2 MMA, 18-2 UFC) has since earned wins over Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit and is now scheduled to meet Hendricks (15-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) in the main event of UFC 167, which takes place on Nov. 16 in Las Vegas. Hendricks boasts the best wrestling credentials of any opponent St-Pierre has ever faced, and he's also capable of dropping anyone in the division with his powerful boxing attacks.
It's a combination of skills many believe will prove to be St-Pierre's undoing, but Shields doesn't see it that way.
"I think 'GSP' will end up using his distance, range – his standup – and end up taking Hendricks down and wearing him down and winning a tough fight," Shields said.
That suits Shields just fine, as he'd love to one day book a rematch with the Canadian champ.
"I think 'GSP' is one of the greatest of all time; he's arguably the greatest of all-time," Shields said. "He always looks great, every fight, so to go out there and beat the guy? That's the guy I've wanted to fight for years. I fought him, and unfortunately I fell short. I would love to get another opportunity to fight him."
First up, of course, is a key bout with Demian Maia (18-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC) in the main event of Wednesday's UFC Fight Night 29 event in Barueri, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
A win isn't likely to earn Shields another shot at St-Pierre, especially with key matchups like Condit vs. Matt Brown and Rory MacDonald vs. Robbie Lawler on the horizon. But an impressive win would go a long way toward again establishing Shields as a top contender, and no less than UFC President Dana White recently said that the winner of the bout would be "in a good position in that weight division."
Shields understands the importance of the moment and what it means toward his ultimate goal.
"I want to fight for the title again," Shields said. "That's why I'm fighting. This is a big fight, and you never really know where you're at, but this would put me a lot closer."