T-minus nine days.
The clock is ticking, and the UFC superstars are on display as we inch closer and closer to UFC 129, the largest attended event in UFC history.
In the main event of this monumental show, Canadian hero and UFC megastar, Georges St. Pierre, will put his welterweight title on the line against division number one contender Jake Shields.
The UFC champion discussed Shields as well as the pressure of performing in front of the largest crowd of all time during today's UFC 129: "St. Pierre vs. Shields" media conference call.
"Rush" got the ball rolling by detailing the stakes of his April 30 title fight:
"Same rules, just a different opponent. This time the bar is much higher. I'm fighting much better guys. I'm up to the challenge. I want to fight the best. I want to beat the best. I don't want to be a paper champion. Jake Shields has been a champion in many different weight classes which is something I've never done."
While much of the discussion of Georges' last fight against Josh Koscheck detailed the mind games and trash talk that "Kos" was throwing GSP's ways, St. Pierre and Shields have been very civil with each other. The UFC champ believes that Shields' silence on the airwaves is a sign of faith in himself.
"Jake is a true champion. I think people who trash talk, it's from lack of confidence. Jake doesn't need to trash talk. He's a humble guy. It doesn't' mean that he's not gonna go hard at me. We both gonna try to hit each other as hard as we can."
St. Pierre believes his date with Shields was a long time coming. He's long thought that the Cesar Gracie-product was the best welterweight in the world and he's never doubted Shields' resiliency.
"When everyone thought he was going to lose to Robbie Lawler, I knew he was going to win. When everyone thought he was going to lose to Dan Henderson, I told everyone that I knew he was going to win. People, they don't realize because they see a guy get knocked out, they see it very violent. Robbie Lawler is a very powerful puncher. People forget that a guy with good submission holds is just as dangerous as a knockout. You can choke them out unconscious. Jake has a weapon that's more dangerous than a knockout punch and he always finds a way to make it work. That's why this fight is dangerous for me. If Jake went against any contender that I faced before, I think Jake would win the fight."
While St. Pierre believes that Shields is the toughest opponent he's ever faced, the oddsmakers in Vegas don't agree. GSP is currently a 4-1 favorite to defeat Shields and he finds that statistic absolutely appalling.
"It's foolish. This is like a trap for me and I'm not going to fall into it. The odds are ridiculous. The people who make the odds don't know the sport. To know the sport you need to be into it. The people that make the odds don't know the sport very well."
The champ is renowned for his tireless work ethic and his constant desire to improve himself. In his mind, there's absolutely no way he'll walk out of the cage without another "W."
"I made too much sacrifice. I put too much into this to lose. I cannot be more well prepared than I am. I did not cut any corners. How I prepare myself for the fight, I feel good. If I fail... I'd be heartbroken."
Speak up, Maniacs!