Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields is defending his belt this weekend at “Strikeforce: Nashville” against UFC and PRIDE veteran Dan Henderson. In a somewhat rare instance, the challenger, Henderson, will be going into this fight as a favorite to win.
Henderson’s friend and training partner Jason “Mayhem” Miller recently challenged Shields for the belt and was ground to defeat in a one-sided five round fight. Even though Shields won that fight, Miller criticized Shields’ style as being less-than-exciting and Henderson echoed that sentiment when talking to MMA:30.
“The biggest challenge of this fight is to still make it exciting and to be aggressive enough and basically not be boring,” said Henderson. “It’s tough to do when all a guy wants to do is take you down, which is probably what’s going to happen in this fight.”
Despite apparently being on friendly terms leading up to the fight, Henderson has been very vocal in his criticism of Shields’ style as of late. Outside of the Miller fight, Shields’ last eight victories have come by way of submission or TKO. He recently told Fightline.com that if a fighter cannot stop him from imposing his will then that is their problem and not his.
“I think it’s definitely a flaw in their game if they can’t stop me from taking them down,” said Shields. “In most cases I submit the guy. Jason Miller is the first guy in several years that’s actually been able to survive with me. So, if I’m taking them down and putting them away and finishing the fight it’s definitely on him, not me. I mean, I definitely like to finish the fights. I prefer ending the fight.”
Shields will be defending his belt and fighting for respect while at the same time Henderson will be looking to put on an exciting show for a new group of fans. Henderson and Shields will square off Saturday night at “Strikeforce: Nashville” which will air live on CBS from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN.