Former UFC light heavyweight champ and MMA icon Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell recently took some time off from his newly-appointed position of UFC vice president of business development to appear on MMAFighting.com’s The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani in order to discuss a number of topics, including his old training partner Jake Shields’ upcoming title fight against welterweight kingpin Georges St. Pierre.
Shields made his bones at The Pit, the MMA gym that Liddell has called home for his entire career, before moving on to Cesar Gracie’s camp where he currently trains. Due to their old friendship and his intimate knowledge of Shields’ skills, Liddell is predicting that his fellow Californian will be bringing the belt back to the west coast come Saturday night.
“I’m siding with Jake,” Liddell said. “Jake’s going to have to take him down. I’m expecting him to be in great shape for the fight. He’ll be in great shape for GSP. But yeah, I expect him to take him down and finish him.”
Liddell recalled Shields’ early days in MMA, crediting the younger fighter for his dedication and work ethic.
“He had athletic ability, I knew he was very tough and he always wanted to work,” Liddell said. “He was always in the gym working on new things, working with people. We’d always say, ‘Relax, you have a fight in a couple days. Just relax.'”
Shields and St. Pierre square off this Saturday night in the main event of UFC 129, which will air live from the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Don’t forget to check back on FightLine.com for out live, ongoing coverage of the event.