Jake Shields Exclusive Interview for SwoleScience.com
Jake Shields is one to the top and most accomplished mixed martial artists in the world today. Having amassed a seven year undefeated streak with 15 straight victories, this amazing fighter has been a five time World Champion of multiple titles, defeated multiple opponents in the same night, achieved championships in multiple weight classes and is a one of the top ranked welterweights in the world. Jake Shields is currently training for his bout against Jake Ellenberger at UFC Fight Night 25, and hopes to continue his trail to a UFC championship. Jake’s unique and exceptional athletic ability, discipline and versatility has placed him among and defeating some of the best fighters in the world. Jake Shields shows an incredible drive not only for constant improvement and discipline, but an insatiable hunger to be the best and win.
Jake Shields Exclusive Interview for SwoleScience.com conducted by Papa Swole.
SwoleScience- Thanks for doing the Interview, How are you doing?
Jake Shields- Good, just got done doing some sparring and wrestling.
SwoleScience- You’re a 5 time World Champion in multiple weight classes with a recently broken 7-year winning streak and a top welterweight contender; what would you say is your best asset as a fighter that has allowed you to become where you are today?
Jake Shields- My mental toughness and persistence. I’m never satisfied, I won’t quit, going to keep training and keep trying to get better at it. Always trying to find ways to get better and I’m just never satisfied.
SwoleScience- How did you get into fighting as a professional fighter and what made you want to be a fighter?
Jake Shields- I used to always watch UFC when I was young and then I met Chuck Liddell. Before Chuck really got big, I went over there to try and help them out, and saw how good he was, always beating me up and I thought ‘this is cool’. I was always dabbling and playing around, and then I fought on two weeks of training, and just started getting better and better. It’s a career by accident but I love what I’m doing and I can’t complain.
SwoleScience- What does your current training regimen consist of?
Jake Shields- It’s really a tricky question because we’re always changing things so much. But basically I try sparring three times a week, hit pads three to four times a week, try to do a lot of stand up to improve that, but at the same time don’t want to neglect my grappling. So, I’m still doing jiu jitsu four to five times a week, running a couple times a week and lifting a couple times a week. It’s a busy schedule and I’ve picked it back up to get ready for this upcoming fight.
SwoleScience- You are a vegetarian professional fighter, how do you think this diet has affected your training?
Jake Shields- I think it helps a little bit. With not having meat, I think it makes me leaner and faster and doesn’t slow me down.
SwoleScience- You stated back in 2009, when you were with StrikeForce, in an interview with Ariel Helwani, that on a scale of 1-10 you felt your stand up was a 7. How do you feel your current stand up is now?
Jake Shields- I’m always trying to make improvements. I think there’s always room to improve so who knows, but it’s definitely getting better. I think since my last fight I’ve made big improvements. So hopefully for my next fight it will show through.
SwoleScience- So we’re talking a 10 out of 10?
Jake Shields- You never know, if I hit a 9 I will be really happy, but you know I’ll never be really satisfied.
SwoleScience- You have a tattoo on your forearm of ‘American Jiu Jitsu’, What is ‘American Jiu Jitsu’ and how was it formed?
Jake Shields- It’s my style of jiu jitsu. I never really trained with a Gi and I just mixed in my wrestling background. I feel that it’s very sport specific and really good for fighting. It pushes the pace, always attacking and trying to finish, and it’s similar to the no-gi training.
SwoleScience- You recently lost to Georges St-Pierre in a welterweight title fight at UFC 129, what do you think went wrong in that fight for you?
Jake Shields- Multiple things. You know first off, he’s an incredible fighter and really hard opponent. Second, I think I should have pushed the pace a little more, tried to break him and pushed a little harder earlier. That should have helped. Also, I didn’t really shoot that much, and part of that was he’s so difficult to shoot on and part of that is I wasn’t being aggressive enough.
SwoleScience- You fought at 170 (welterweight) and 185 (middleweight) and been a champion at both. Why did you decide to come into the UFC at 170?
Jake Shields- You know I wanted to fight in the UFC for a long time and that’s the first fight I got, they called and asked if I wanted the championship and I said yes. I would fight at 185. I’m just happy to fight and I’ll fight wherever they want me.
SwoleScience- Nick Diaz is slated to fight Georges St-Pierre next for the welterweight title at UFC 137, are you willing to fight Nick Diaz for the title?
Jake Shields- Ah no. Nick Diaz has been my training partner for probably over eleven years now. He’s not some guy I go and train with. I wouldn’t be where I’m at today if it wasn’t for Nick and we’ve helped each other since we were teenagers. I would definitely go to 185 and also I’m not just going to jump in the ring, there’s also two other tough contenders there. So I’ll just go to 185 if he beats GSP, which I hope he does.
SwoleScience- So you would go up in weight?
Jake Shields- Definitely I would go up in weight and just fight at 185.
SwoleScience- With 10 wins by submission, what would you say is your favorite grappling technique and why?
Jake Shields- I love the guillotine. There are just so many variations of the guillotine and it’s a great move to finish.
SwoleScience- Your next opponent is Jake Ellenberger at UFC Fight Night 25, how have you improved your game plan for this fight?
Jake Shields- My trainers and I still need to break him down and I haven’t had a chance to watch him fight yet. I heard he’s a strong wrestler, so I might just have to switch it up and take the fight to him.
SwoleScience- In the recently released documentary ‘Fight Life’ you talk about the difficult life of a fighter. What is the most extreme thing you have done for the sake of being a fighter?
Jake Shields- Training gets pretty crazy, you know running hill sprints, training up hill, it’s a tough life, you’re training two to three times a day. You’re running hill sprints after training just completely exhausted. It’s a tough job and a lot of people don’t realize how much work really goes into being a top fighter.
SwoleScience- What is the most important piece of advice you would like to give to aspiring fighters?
Jake Shields- First, find a good team and trainer, and this helps so much. If you have that it helps so much. Make sure you want to do it, because it’s not a fast process. For a lot of fighters it takes years, I was fighting nine years until I got any attention.
SwoleScience- Thank you so much for the interview Jake and we look forward to speaking to you again in the future.
Check out Jake Shields’ Website- JakeShields.com
Follow him on Twitter- Jake Shields Twitter
And on Facebook- Jake Shields Facebook
(Photos used with permission from Jake Shields)
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