Earlier today, it was announced that Georges St-Pierre and Jake Shields are under serious consideration to fight each in other in the main event of UFC 129, which is being held on April 30, 2011 at the Rogers Centre (SkyDome) in Toronto, Ontario.
This is very exciting news for Ontario-resident fight fans...
Or is it?
Right off the bat, I just have to say that I don’t think that Jake Shields deserves a title shot—not yet anyway.
Shields should first have to take on Jon Fitch for the number one contender position, but instead, he seems to be getting a lot of preferential treatment from Dana White and company, which started with an unfair promise to fight GSP, assuming of course that Shields would have been able to defeat Martin Kampmann at UFC 121.
Which he did—barely, by way of split decision, in what was in my opinion, a terrible performance by Shields.
Hardly “title-shot” worthy.
And what I thought was quite odd (and unfair) at the time was the fact that Shields, who had never fought before in the UFC, was being told that he would automatically get the number one contender position should he be able to beat Kampmann. But Kampmann was in no way getting that same level of consideration from the UFC.
How was that fair for Kampmann?
Or how is that being fair to Fitch, who other than GSP, has beaten everyone that the UFC has ever put in front of him up until now?
The reality is that Shields looked absolutely terrible against Kampmann and there is no way that Shields should get a title shot on the merits of that performance alone.
Then again, Shields did come into the UFC as the Strikeforce Middleweight Champion, so certainly that has to be worth something, right?
If I recall, the number one complaint about Shields throughout his entire tenure as Champion over at Strikeforce was that he was a boring fighter.
And guess what?
He was (is).
So let’s launch Shields past an entire division of fighters who could all probably beat him on any given day of the week?
I have one word for that decision—terrible.
And what’s the problem that the fans supposedly have with GSP taking on Jon Fitch for the second time?
Why is this fight being perceived as any less exciting than Edgar vs Maynard II (and look how that fight turned out)?
Then again, maybe it’s not the fans.
Maybe it’s just that Dana White is still so focused on proving that his Champions are that much better than the Strikeforce Champions that he is willing to treat all other fighters currently under the UFC Welterweight banner with complete disrespect.
Can someone please tell Dana that he is wasting his time and energy?
We get it—UFC Champions are better than Strikeforce Champions. Time to move on from your insecurities.
Or maybe it’s something else with Dana White?
Maybe the UFC is so desperate to have GSP on the Toronto fight card that they are willing to throw together the very first match-up with him that makes sense “timeline-wise.”
Perhaps this only proves that Dana White and Zuffa might not be as confident in the newly acquired Canadian market as they like to pretend to be.
After all, 60,000 seats is a pretty tall order to fill.
Either way, something stinks about this decision to pit Shields against GSP and it will be the Ontario fans who will suffer because of it.
And oddly enough, Dana White has recently made very clear statements that he doesn’t (apparently) care about the wins or losses on a fighters record, as much as he cares about his fighters putting on an exciting performance.
So again, where does this leave Jake Shields in that equation?
How does Shields “boring” style of fighting make him a solid number one contender in the UFC?
Personally, I could do without the biased decision making. I am much more interested in seeing the best fights possible, and GSP vs Jake Shields just isn’t it.
Bring on Jon Fitch.
These are my opinions. If you don’t like them...I have others. Check them out at www.mrjamesryan.com
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