Elite XC: "Heat" — the third installment of "Saturday Night Fights" on CBS — is set to go off live from the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla., this Saturday, October 4, beginning at 9 p.m. ET on national television.
To get us prepared for the event, we will showcase a daily feature for each main card fight leading up to the event. These features will include information on the fighters, predictions, as well as training notes from each fighter.
The lone title fight in Sunrise is a classic clash of styles and potentially the sickest fight on the card. Elite XC Welterweight Champion Jake Shields (21-4-1) will put his 170-pound title on the line for the first time against the dangerous British striker Paul "Semtex" Daley (18-6-2).
Anybody who knows anything about either one of these guys is drooling in anticipation for this fight.
Here’s the breakdown:
Jake Shields -- Jake is a 29-year-old fighter, fighting out of San Francisco, California. He's a Cesar Gracie black belt in jiu jitsu, reigning Elite XC welterweight champion, Rumble on the Rock champion and former Shooto world champion.
He comes from a wrestling background where he earned All-American status for two years at Cuesta College. His martial arts training began at Chuck Liddell's SLO Kickboxing Academy at an early age. Not too long after learning the ropes from the "The Iceman," he decided he wanted to make a go at a career in MMA.
Late in 2001 he discovered jiu jitsu at Cesar Gracie's school. Learning from one of the best teachers of the sport, he excelled and did well in several high profile tournaments. He finally earned his black belt in February of 2007.
He stayed with the striking he learned at the beginning of his career from Liddell by joining former Muay Thai world champion Jongsanan Fairtex's Fairtex Fighting Academy.
With all the training he's received from these world class trainers in all these different disciplines, he's made a name for himself, and is widely considered one of the top 170-pound mixed martial artists in the world.
He defeated Nick "The Goat" Thompson by rear naked choke in the first round at Elite XC: "Unfinished Business" to capture the company's first division title. He's also known for having defeated Carlos Condit and Yushin Okami in the same night on his way to winning the Rumble on the Rock tournament in 2006.
Paul Daley -- "Semtex" is a 25-year-old fighter hailing from Nottingham, England. He's known for having a very nice Muay Thai game and devastating knockout power. He's the reigning Cage Rage welterweight world champion.
Daley is one of the most charismatic personalities in mixed martial arts. He's never shy about saying what's on his mind and has a vocabulary filled with four letter words.
Earlier this year, after sending Sam Morgan home with one of the nastiest standing elbow knockouts since Anderson Silva's demolition of Tony Fryklund, Daley called out anybody and everybody in Elite XC, including Shields.
But he apparently had a change of heart not too long after because he announced his retirement from the sport a few weeks later. He said training and competing was taking too much out of him and he needed some time away to get his personal life in order.
We all knew the retirement would be short lived and sure enough not six months later he made public his plans to return to professional fighting. He picked up right where he left off too, handing undefeated Bojan Kosednar his first loss with a first round knockout.
This will be his third fight under the Elite XC banner, having knocked out both Morgan and Duane Ludwig in his previous outings.
Jake Shields -- Shields is an absolute gym rat. He primarily trains with the Cesar Gracie camp where he gets to work with guys like Gilbert Melendez and Nick and Nate Diaz regularly. It's safe to say he gets quality jiu jitsu and cardio training with them.
He also has a gym of his own just outside of San Francisco. He says he does a lot of training there and he still works his Muay Thai with the Fairtex Combat Academy as well.
Shields also spends some time training at American Kickboxing Academy. When we interviewed him before the Nick Thompson fight, he said he had been training there with Jon Fitch at least twice a week.
He gets around the San Francisco area. If you've trained around there, chances are you've ran into Jake.
Here's his reaction to Daley's comments leading up to the fight:
"I don’t really pay that much attention to what someone has to say. I go out and fight my fight. Sounds like he knows he’s over his head. He’s like the little dog barking to act tough. Daley won’t last with me and knows it."
Paul Daley -- Daley is training out of Mike's Gym in Amsterdam under the tutelage of Mike Passenier, training Muay Thai and judo. Here's a snip from a recent interview with MMAnews.com about his camp for this fight:
"It's going really well, thanks. It's very intense, I'm here at Mike's Gym in Amsterdam, with Melvin (Manhoef) and the Dream 6 fight camp, So I’m really training to fight a Grand Prix, So i'm in great shape."
And when asked what he's been working on specifically for this fight:
"Of course my takedown defense, my conditioning and my submissions and take down defense. We've had some judo guys, wrestlers and have had Antonio Carvalho through out the camp."
And finally, on what he feels he needs to do to win the fight:
"Keep the pressure on him, stop the takedowns, make him scared of me...as well he fucking should be, and knock him out!"
Ok, here's one more. This one is from fightticket.com and is vintage "Semtex":
"Fuck Jake Shields. I’m gonna crush him, and give him such a brutal knock out, he better be fucking scared. Or even better let him not, let him laugh and think I’m talking shit. Give me even more motivation."
Sam Morgan was able to take "Semtex" down twice pretty easily. His problem was that he couldn't hold the Brit down. Daley better realize that Jake Shields won't have those same problems if he gets him to the mat.
Jake is way too talented of a grappler for Daley to allow himself to be put on his back. If that happens, it's going to be a short night for the challenger.
However, while the champ has some decent striking in his arsenal, he's nowhere near the level of Daley. If "Semtex" can stuff the takedowns and keep the fight in his comfort area, we could see a new Elite XC champion tomorrow night.
Regardless of what anybody says about Jake's improved striking or the fact that he hasn't been knocked out in over eight years, if he tries to trade blows with Paul Daley, he's going to lose his belt.
Daley's Muay Thai attack is too quick and too powerful.
So, being how this is almost a clear cut case of who can take the fight where they want it to go, wrestling and size could play a huge part in the outcome. And Jake Shields has the advantage in both areas. He's a large 170 pounder, while Daley looks like he could easily fight at lightweight if he wanted to.
The bigger and stronger Jake Shields should be able to dictate where this fight goes a little easier than Daley simply because of those advantages.
Therefore, Jake taking the Cage Rage champ down, holding him there, taking a dominant position and either pounding him out or securing a submission is the likeliest of scenarios.
We're going with Jake Shields to retain his Elite XC welterweight title.
Jake Shields via submission (rear naked choke) in round one.
Check back in tomorrow as we take an in-depth look at the the heavyweight main event of the night between Miami native Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson and Hall of Famer Ken "The World's Most Dangerous Man" Shamrock.