As a member of Team Nate Diaz this week, Jake Shields was on-stage for the faceoff between Diaz and Conor McGregor Thursday after their press conference.
The two had a minor incident which left Shields upset and ready to go to war.
What went through Jake’s mind and his plans when he jumped on stage at the UFC 196 Press Conference staredowns
“Yeah, well from my angle it looked like he – I just saw him throw the punch – I didn’t know if he hit him in the head or the arm, so I couldn’t really tell the punch. So to me, Nate’s like a brother so I got really mad and just hopped on stage. You know, I didn’t wanna do anything stupid obviously to jeopardise the fight, so I kind of just hopped on there to make sure everything was alright and that Conor’s guys weren’t jumping in. And then when I saw everything was under control I kind of just went over to where Nate was at.”
If a part of Jake was worried it would be Strikeforce: Nashville all over again
“Yeah, I mean a little bit of course. You don’t want things to turn ugly again and we don’t want fines and to jeopardise the fight. So that’s why I was trying to keep it calm and just went and calmed Nate down, even though I was pretty upset that Conor smacked him for no reason. But it’s one of those things, they get to fight in two days, so they might as well save it up for that.”
If Jake still wants to fight McGregor on the street, hours removed from the staredowns
“No, I mean I’m not going to fight him in the street. I was just mad because he was mouthing off to me. I mean, if I bumped into him in a club and he started mouthing off to me, yeah I probably would punch him. It’s not like I’m going to let a guy like that mouth off to me. But I’m not gonna like, I’m not looking for him, going out, trying to get him (laughs).”
If the tension is between Team Diaz and Team McGregor or just between Nate and Conor
“I don’t think there’s anything that needs to be straightened out. I don’t think our teams like each other at the moment. But we’re going to war, to fight on Saturday, so I don’t think we have any interest of trying to be friends with them at the moment. For a fight, if people don’t like them personally – and I’m sure Nate feels the same way – makes it a little easier when you really don’t like someone to wanna go out there and fight ‘em.”
What happened backstage after the staredown scuffle and if the UFC warned team Diaz not to do it again
“No, we were separated, they didn’t let us near each other after that. They pulled us apart and we weren’t able to see them again. The UFC didn’t talk to us. I think they know it was more Conor’s fault. Conor went and punched his hand, which is completely out of line. I mean, I hopped on stage, but I didn’t try to hit anyone. I was just trying to make sure everything was okay. I think the UFC realizes that no one on our team was out of line. We’re just a very tight-knit team, and when a brawl breaks out, we’ve got each other’s backs, but were not looking to try and get into a fight.”
What Nate Diaz’s reaction was right after the scuffle and if it rattled him mentally
“Nah it doesn’t. I think maybe Conor was trying to rattle Nate. I think Nate’s too smart. He’s been around too long; he’s not going to let this rattle him up. It just gives him more motivation to wanna go out there and beat him up.
If Conor’s mental games have worked on Nate and they’ll affect Nate in the fight
“Oh he’s totally fine. He’s not a guy that’s rattled very easily. He’s been around for quite some time, been in quite a few fights. To him it’s no big deal. He’s not gonna fall for Conor’s head games.”
What Jake and team Diaz expect from the Weigh-ins tomorrow
“Yeah, I don’t know. I mean, I hope nothing happens, but you know, Nate’s my friend and if anything…I’m not letting guys hit him. So I’m definitely not…I definitely don’t wanna fight and not try start anything, but he can’t just go and smack him and think it’s okay.”
Thoughts on McGregor’s team
“I honestly don’t know a lot of guys in their team. I don’t want to go knock them and bash them, not knowing who they are, but they’re pretty much unknowns. I mean, I don’t think they can hang with a team on our level, but I mean obviously they have some good guys because Conor is performing well. And the movement thing, I don’t know. Is it a good thing? I mean sure, it can’t be a bad thing, but I don’t think it’s the end all of everything like he’s acting like it is either. Probably helps him a little bit, but it’s also just another tool that adds to your game.”