Monday, September 21, 2020

EXCLUSIVE: Jake Shields Responds To Dana White’s Criticism, Talks WSOF Debut Against Ryan Ford & More

On which girls impressed him the most on TUF 20:

“Oh man, all the girls are tough. They’re all tough and they all worked hard, but I don’t want to mention specific girls because it might give something away, but I’ll just say overall everyone on the team was willing to work hard and we had a bunch of good girls.”

On comparing this season of TUF to season 11 when he was part of the Team Chuck Liddell coaching staff:

“Honestly, it was very similar the way it was run. They’ve already been doing it for a while, so I think they had it figured out. We just come in and we have our two sessions per day and the other coaches do two sessions a day and they keep it steady and we’d just come in and train the fighters. As far as what they do when they’re not around us, I mean, we’re only around them for four hours a day and then obviously the girls — or the guys — are stuck 24-hours a day in the house, but it was a very similar format compared to the first time.”

On if he’s going to stay at 170-pounds, or if he has plans to go back up to 185-pounds:

“At this point I’ve got my weight down pretty light and I’m happy at 170, but I’m always, you know, I take it one fight at a time, but if it’s the right fight I might move up. For a really big fight, I’d be willing to go up but right now I have several guys at 170 that I want to fight so my mind is set there, but if I was able to clear out the division at 170 and there was someone I’d really want to fight at 185, I’d consider moving up.”

On how the Cesar Gracie-led “Scrap Pack” with Nick Diaz, Nate Diaz, Gilbert Melendez and himself came to be:

“I originally started training with Chuck Liddell way back in the day because I was going to school in San Luis Obispo in I believe it was around 1999 or 2000. So, I trained with him for a year or two and then I moved to San Francisco with a wrestling scholarship to San Francisco State. I had already known Cesar Gracie from back then because he had some good fighters like David Terrell and Gil Castillo. These are old school guys, you know, because Castillo actually fought for the UFC belt and Terrell was in the UFC on a good run for a while, but this was before these guys were in the UFC. So, I started going to Cesar’s gym and that’s when I originally met Nick Diaz. Nick Diaz was about 18 at the time and me and him would go in there, we were the young guys at the time. We weren’t the best guys in the gym, but we were kind of the tougher young guys and we were really competitive with each other. We’d get beat up by guys like David Terrell because we weren’t on that level yet, but we’d kind of push each other. I met Gilbert Melendez wrestling in college at San Francisco State, so I talked him into going over there with me. I was like, “you got to try this Jiu-Jitsu stuff out.” At first, I think he was a little reluctant, but I kept on him and finally I dragged him in there and then Nick started dragging his little brother Nate [Diaz] in. Basically we’d go in there and Nate and Gil would try and beat each other up and me and Nick would try and beat each other up and we’d beat up the little brothers and then it just kind of formed a tough clique, you know? There wasn’t a lot of fight teams back then, you know, it was a little more hardcore back when the Gracie Challenge was going around and people would come in and want to fight someone.”

For more on Jake Shields, you can follow him on Twitter @JakeShieldsAJJ and check out his official website at JakeShields.com.

Make sure to check out Jake Shields vs. Ryan Ford this Saturday at World Series Of Fighting 14 “U.S. vs. Canada” which emanates from the Edmonton EXPO Centre at Northlands in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and airs live on NBC SN at 9pm EST.

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