• UFC 129

Welterweight stars queue up to back GSP victory

ESPN staff
April 20, 2011

Georges St-Pierre has been tipped to beat Jake Shields by two of the welterweight division's top names.

St-Pierre defends his UFC title against Shields at UFC 129, in what is expected to be GSP's toughest test since he reclaimed the strap from Matt Serra. Shields is undefeated in 15 fights, and he recently beat former UFC middleweight veteran Dan Henderson - dominating him for four rounds.

Dan Hardy has shared the same Octagon with St-Pierre in the past and he has helped Paul Daley train for Shields, but he believes GSP's use of the jab in his last fight with Josh Koscheck sets the blueprint.

"I think that GSP's ability to always work to his opponent's weakness is the thing that's going to get him through this fight," said UFC welterweight contender Hardy in the Daily Bulletin. "Against me, he knew that my strength was my stand-up, so he played away from that.

"With Koscheck, he obviously kept it standing, knowing that he could beat him on his feet. He's a smart guy, and I think he's going to do the same as he did against Koscheck. It wouldn't surprise me. He's either going to keep him on the end of his jock for 25 minutes, or it's going to be a hug-fest on the floor. But either way, I think GSP is going to take it."

Hardy's last fight saw him lose to Anthony Johnson, who also thinks it will be one-way traffic in Toronto.

"My prediction? GSP all the way," Johnson said. "The guy has all the tools. He has ground. He has stand-up. He has wrestling. Jake's weak point, of course, is his stand-up. I wish both guys good luck during the fight, but hands down from me observing each fighter, GSP is going to take it.

"You can't count Jake Shields out because he can pull a sneaky submission or something, and anything can happen during a fight. Don't count him out, but I still have to go with GSP."

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