For the most part, mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters won't openly admit to being inferior to an opponent in a specific aspect of the sport.
Jake Shields, however, is putting his pride aside when he faces Hector Lombard this weekend (March 15, 2014) at UFC 171 in Dallas, Texas, by saying that he knows he can't hang in the striking department against one of the hardest-hitting fighters in all the sport.
According to Shields, letting the fight play out on the feet against Lombard won't increase his chances of picking up a victory, which is why he'll look to get the fight to the ground as quickly as possible.
His explained why, during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour:
"It's definitely a no-brainer that I want to take it to the ground. I feel like I can stand with him. I think technically, I do a lot better in the stand-up than a lot of these fighters. As far as fighting Lombard on the feet, it's not something you want to do. He's just got too much power and he's too vicious there. But, I am willing to stand with him for a while and hope to get it to the ground and submit him."
Indeed, "Lightning" has made it a habit to end most of his fights via devastating knockout, as was the case in his two wins inside the Octagon when he brutally finished Rousimar Palhares at UFC on FX 6 and Nate Marquardt at UFC 166 last October (recap).
That's why the Cesar Gracie-trained fighter, Shields, will rely on his world-class jiu-jitsu game to get the job done in "Big D." That's if Lombard doesn't live up to his moniker and strike early and swift with his lethal striking to put an end to the bout before it ever hits the ground.
What are the chances of that happening?