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UFC 129 Preview: St. Pierre Vs. Shields

lj-smithToronto’s Rogers Centre will play host to 55,000 rabid fans and a serious lineup of MMA action on April 30, 2011. Headlining the card is a title fight between welterweight champ and Canadian fan-favorite Georges “Rush” St. Pierre, and challenger Jake Shields.

Sports betting players know that the UFC is doing its best to hype the fight and present Shields as a legitimate threat to St. Pierre’s reign of dominance. But the threat is very much overstated, in the way that Dan Hardy was hyped up as a serious threat to Georges St. Pierre. While Shields is a phenomenal grappler, he possesses such a deficiency in the striking department that it is hard to view him as a credible challenger.

Indeed, not only does Shields need this fight to go to the ground to get the win here, he needs to be on top. While Shields does have a dangerous guard, he is much more dominant when he’s in top position, particularly full mount. Moreover, Jason Miller was seconds away from choking Shields unconscious before the end of a round in their fight. It is not inconceivable to see St. Pierre submitting Jake Shields here.

In the striking department, online sports betting players know that St. Pierre has the ability to seriously hurt Jake Shields here. One criticism the champion has faced is an apparent lack of power – despite breaking Josh Koscheck’s orbital bone early in their fight, he was unable to finish the AKA product with strikes over five rounds. Still, savvy fans know that St. Pierre will have such a tremendous advantage in striking exchanges, it is hard to envision a way for Shields to win without a submission.


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