Jake Shields is getting ready to face Jason “Mayhem” Miller for the Strikeforce middleweight championship, vacated by Cung Le, in Strikeforce’s CBS debut this Saturday. The first – and only – Elite XC Welterweight Champion spoke to Richa Mitchell of FightLine.com about his big bout this Saturday.
Richa Mitchell: This is the fourth time that an MMA card will be broadcast on CBS, and the third time you will be on it. Is there any extra pressure preparing for a fight that will be broadcast on network television?
Jake Shields: No, not really. I put pressure on myself every fight. I’m on a big winning streak and I think any fight I’m involved in is a lot of pressure. I want to keep that streak going and show that I belong here with the best, so I put pressure on. It doesn’t matter where I’m at.
Richa Mitchell: You are fighting Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller for the Strikeforce middleweight title, vacated by Cung Le, who never defended the belt after winning it over a year and a half ago. Are you surprised it took Strikeforce this long to vacate the title?
Jake Shields: No, because Cung Le is a huge draw in San Jose. Someone that Scott Coker has worked with for past ten years, so I think he gave him a little extra benefit of the doubt just because they’ve had that relationship for so long which is understandable. When Coker and Cung Le have been working for that long you give him a little extra leeway, so I expect him to give him that.
Richa Mitchell: Do you see Cung Le ever facing the winner of your bout with Miller?
Jake Shields: No, I don’t think so. I think he’d rather fight B-level guys like Frank Shamrock.
Richa Mitchell: What are your thoughts on Cung Le, and how the title situation was dealt with?
Jake Shields: I like Cung Le, I think he’s a really cool guy and he’s a really talented fighter. It’s unfortunate that he’s not really into fighting top talent. I would love to have him fight guys like me and Nick [Diaz]. I think if he dedicated himself and put it to it he could be a true warrior, but I just think his mindset is more in easy fights, which is what he’s into so it’s fine for him. But I would love to see him get in the mix and fight guys like me. But, unfortunately, I don’t think it’s really what he wants to do.
Richa Mitchell: You are coming off of a huge win over Robbie Lawler this past summer. How did you feel after that fight?
Jake Shields: I felt great after that fight. We bashed. Banged him up and then a first round submission, so I’m happy.
Richa Mitchell: Your opponent this Saturday, Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller, is the host of MTV’s Bully Beatdown, a show you’ve appeared on several times. What are your thoughts of the show and Miller as a host?
Jake Shields: I’ve only watched a couple episodes of Bully Beatdown. I don’t really watch much TV except a couple shows. But I actually like it. I never watch MTV but I actually find that show pretty funny and pretty entertaining when I watch it. And it’s a little goofy but I think he does a good job for the show. He’s a little crazy but it makes interesting TV, so I think he’s right for the show.
Richa Mitchell: Since you appeared on the show, we assumed you two were friends, but then Miller in a recent interview said “I will beat the piss out of Jake Shields, and he knows it. I do everything better than him, and I’m bigger than him and stronger than him!” Were you surprised by his comments?
Jake Shields: No, it’s part of the game, talking crap. I think I’ve probably talked a little crap back. And it’s nothing personal. He can think what he wants. But when it comes Saturday night, I’m the one who will beat the crap out of him. (Laughs) He’s just trying to get himself psyched up.
Richa Mitchell: Do you think Miller’s hosting the show affects his training?
Jake Shields: No, my understanding is Miller’s still been training a lot. He’s still training hard, I’m sure. Obviously he had to go out for a couple of weeks and film it. So it took a couple of weeks, but overall I don’t think he stopped training from what I hear. They all say he’s taking this fight serious and training his ass off and I’m expecting a good fight.
Richa Mitchell: How do you see this fight going?
Jake Shields: Interesting fight, I mean this fight can take place everywhere, I think we’ll be on our feet, on the ground. He’s hard to submit, I think it’s going to be an exciting fight, it’s going to take place everywhere.
Richa Mitchell: If you were to win the title this Saturday, who would you like to face next?
Jake Shields: Man, I would love to fight Dan Henderson. I have no idea if that’s a reality or not, but I’ve heard rumors of that. And that would be my pick. I think everyone would want to watch that fight.
Richa Mitchell: You had called out Frank Shamrock in the past. Is that someone you still have beef with?
Jake Shields: I mean, I don’t care for the guy. I would still fight him, but I think he’s made it really clear that he doesn’t want anything to do with me. I think he knows after the beating Nick gave him, I think he realized he’s not anywhere in my league. And I’ve tried to talk some smack and he’s not responded back, and I think that shows clearly that he wants nothing to do with me.
Richa Mitchell: Thanks for talking to us, and best of luck this Saturday. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Jake Shields: I’d like to thank all my fans for the support. And Tapout, Champion Nutrition, EA Sports, Rockstar Energy Drink and Serious Pimp Sunglasses. They pay me so I keep doing this. And make sure to tune in Nov. 7th. Make sure to tune in early enough to catch mine and Miller’s fight, it’s going to be a war. I’m going to try to steal the show.
Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers will be taking place this Saturday inside the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. The show will be the first of a multi-event deal between Strikeforce and CBS.