When you consider that Jake Shields has been around the old MMA block more than a few times (he made his pro debut in 1999), and even fought Canadian superstar Georges St. Pierre in his home town of Montreal, the 34 year-old vet is used to being booed, jeered and just outright insulted. As any veteran fighter will tell you, being public enemy number one every now and then just comes with the territory.
Tonight at UFC FN 29, however, Shields will clash with one of Brazil’s most successful jiu-jitsu competitors and fighters in Demian Maia, at Barueri’s Jose Correa Arena. If you’ve been following this ‘ultimate fighting’ stuff for a while now, then you know that Brazilian fans are some of the more passionate and vocal in the sport. So, is Shields ready to receive what will likely be a pretty harsh welcome? While speaking to MMA Junkie.com recently, here’s some of what the former Strikeforce champ had to say:
“I would rather have taken the fight in the U.S., but my job is to fight wherever I’m told to fight,” said Shields, who has gone undefeated in three fights after losing to GSP and Jake Ellenberger. “This is a fight I liked, so I can’t turn it down just because it’s not where I want it to be.
“I’ve been through it so much. I think the Brazilians are a little louder and a little more hostile. They might yell a little bit and scream things like, ‘You’re going to die,’ so that’s not like Canada. But, ultimately, it’s not going to make much of a difference.”
Yes, having fans yell you’re life could soon be over might be unnerving to some. Shields did add, however, that when he’s been in Brazil training fans he’s met have been very “respectful” towards him. So, really, Shield’s believes it’s more about tonight’s match-up rather than anything personal. Fair enough.
It’s going to be interesting to see how tonight’s headliner plays out, as it’s a big fight for each welterweight.
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