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Attention Strikeforce: Jake Shields’ Camp Wants You to Call Them

(Don’t worry, Scott. Jake has it on 21-day buy-back)

According to Josh Gross’ latest column for, Strikeforce 185-pound champ Jake Shields‘ manager and father, Jack Shields says that the promotion has yet to bother to contact them to attempt to negotiate a new contract.

"The time is ticking. We’d like to move forward as soon as possible,"the elder Shields told Gross on Monday. "I’d like to be negotiating right now."

Strikeforce reps blamed their busy event schedule for the delay, but a source told Gross that they have actually considered releasing Shields before an exclusive negotiating period expires in three weeks. Even after that period ends, the promotion still has the right to match any offer made by any other promotion, but the fact that they are pretending Shields doesn’t exist and discussing life after he leaves the organization essentially all but says they are conceding he will not be back.

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker offered a nonplussed response to Gross’ inquiry about the possibility that they may release the talented welterweight who has spent the last year moonlighting as a middleweight so he could ensure he had challenging fights.

"Can I guarantee that we won’t release him? No, I can’t. It depends on how the last two or three weeks of negotiation go. I won’t be able to answer until negotiations are over. Is it a possibility? It’s a possibility. If we’re not going to be in the Jake Shields business, let’s just move on," Coker said. "That’s how I feel. This is a business. Jake has a career and a life and it’s not fair to him. But Jake is a guy we’ve appreciated having him as part of the family."

Shields, who holds a record of 25-4-1 and hasn’t lost since 2005, has one fight remaining on his current deal with the California-based organization, but as it runs out this summer and he just fought Dan Henderson April 17, the contract will expire before he has the opportunity to fulfill the agreement, making him a free agent in June. 

His father says that they are open to negotiating with Strikeforce, but he also says that considering how far his son, who was also the EliteXC welterweight champion has come in his 11 years in the sport, they will be looking for a deal that is in sync financially with what other fighters of his calibre and experience have signed.

"Jake has worked really hard for 11 years. When he got in the sport, there wasn’t any money," Jake’s father explained. "One time he fought in a tent, another time he fought in a barn. He did it for the love of the sport, but he’s worked really hard at it and I’d like to see him do well [financially]."

Sure, Shields has stated that he will likely test the open market before deciding whether or not to re-sign with Strikeforce and UFC president Dana White seems hellbent on bringing the talented welterweight in to shake up his 170-pound class, but for Strikeforce to just throw up their collective hands and give up on one of its best fighters seems a bit puzzling.

That would be like having a brawl that occurred at one of your events broadcast on network television and not calling the network back to discuss the incident or whether or not they want to broadcast another one of your shows.


Cagepotato Comments

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Nut Puncher 9000- May 21, 2010 at 8:32 am
A few points.

@ LickmyAoki - You are right on. Dana has already said he is going to try to drive up Shields' price so waiting for Dana to make the first offer make perfect sense. Either Dana will low-ball to start, giving SF the opportunity to looks good with a solid intial offer, or Dana will have to pony up early with a huge number and SF can let him go like they anticipate anyway. That is good/smart business.

@The Rest of you SF Haters - SF is/was a company that survived as a live gate only organization for a long time. They are not going to fold under because they picked up Hendo or any of that shit. In Fact, after the last two dominant, but boring, performances from Shields I wouldnt doubt it if SF wants Hendo to take his place anyway. He has the ability to KO people (Ask Bisping) and bring SF the excitement they want for the casual CBS fans instead of another boring LnP decision.

And Finally - It will actually be the UFC overpaying Shields because he will not beat GSP. I have a hard time seeing him beat a lot of 170's in the UFC...Kos, Fitch, Alves... and we all know that Shields will come with a big contract.
Ratel- May 21, 2010 at 6:33 am
Did someone say GSP vs Shields? Whaaat? If that happens, I think Shields will get clobbered. Yes, he has excellent Jiu Jitsu, but the dude had nothing on his punches. Nothing at all.

He whaled on Hendo at will for the better part of an entire fight and couldn't finish him off. You could see him dropping punches on Dan's head and face, but it looked like he was hammering him with pillows at times, they were so ineffective. And I'm talking about a Hendo who put up the most half-assed defence of the year.

Still, it'd be good for JS to make it into the UFC, where he can get some good payday and make an even better name for himself, so good luck to him.
newdeal- May 21, 2010 at 4:36 am
Strikeforce overpaid Hendo, they probobly can't afford much more, Shields in spite of beating hendo isnt as large of a draw because of Hendos name. Now they will either bankrupt themselves trying to keep Shields or let him go and try to rebuild the reputation. Unfortunately Fedor is too expensive, Mousasi has been exposed, King Mo even in beating Mousasi was exposed, and the rest of their stable either sucks, doesn't speak english, or can't hype a fight to save their lives
The_Iron_Fish- May 21, 2010 at 4:29 am
If strikeforce arnt careful they could tank. they need to start making smarter decisions. If Jake Shields goes its a huge blow for them. First of all they dont market their fighters properly which is why a lot of them are relatively unknown. I mean the UFC overhypes fighters but atleaste we get some useful info on them. Not being able to control their fighters is probably their biggest problem. The UFC a have a hand on all their fighters and we usually get the fights we want to see. But in strikeforce the fighters dictate who they want to fight and who they dont want to fight. Big problem.
fatbellyfrank- May 21, 2010 at 2:04 am
@ ChachiGT, yeah I see the same thing, their business plan seems to be keep throwing shit at the wall and hope some things gonna stick( Very similar to WCW ). Coker is supposedly CEO but he just hopes things happen, Dana, love him or hate him makes things happen, this is,IMO,just another example of the general clusterfuck that is Strikeforce
ccman- May 21, 2010 at 1:33 am
Example #2 is fedor vs anyone not worthy. #3 is king mo.vs mousai. #4 was joining with dream. #5 is allowing russian mob. Whoops m-1 in the mix. #6 is nonexclusive contracts. #7 is cbs/showtime beig your strength... I have more
ccman- May 21, 2010 at 1:26 am
Bottom line: noone in the mma world saw sheilds beating hendo. SF bet on it by overpaying hendo. Now they are lost in space on what to do, have no one who can figure it out, and will lose MORE money trying to be bigger than they are. Welcome the elitexc/affliction model.

Again. Bad for mma. Hire a brain, not a belt or gimmic for once.
Mr_Misanthropy- May 20, 2010 at 11:37 pm
Jake Shields is STILL standing in front of that same pawn shop? He's been there for like three weeks now... did Dana put him on the Star Track to keep him busy while he sits in limbo?

Strikeforce is going broke. I bet the two scheduled fights with Fedor on the card later this year put them under if they load the cards up with other big names.

What a great message to send to anyone else who tries to work their ass off to get to the top of their organization: "Yeah, he refuses to lose the fights we want him to lose and he just keeps holding on to the damn belt. Fuck him, he's dead to us. Let's just move on." They have one dominant champion and they treat the guy like he's got radioactive super-aids or something. Somehow, I just lost a little more respect. (Yeah, I know, they couldn't outbid the UFC anyway.)
cecils_pupils- May 20, 2010 at 10:21 pm
CAPTION: On the next episode of Pawn Stars, Jake Shields tries to negotiate a good price for the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship Belt he no longer needs...
Fedor Penn- May 20, 2010 at 8:34 pm
Sheilds vs GSP will be boring as hell but I guess it has to happen and I guess I want to see it.
Joedirt- May 20, 2010 at 6:57 pm
I hope the UFC doesn't take over strikeforce. The more competitive organizations the better for the sport. With that said I hope strikeforce steps it up and becomes a better run company.
ChachiGT- May 20, 2010 at 5:46 pm
As much as I like, even love some of the SF fighters, SF as a company is crap. They just don't know how to play the game.....I wonder how much long they will be around...I see this going the way of WWE(WWF) vs. WCW....eventually, everyone retires to SF, the good talent gets taken by the UFC and then SF dies a slow and embarressing death
Sneaky Pete- May 20, 2010 at 5:29 pm
Whoever decided to photoshop an image of Jake Shields from ten years in the future into the shop window gets mad Dorian Gray props!
justscrappin- May 20, 2010 at 5:01 pm
It all makes perfect sense. Jake Shields is on national television sitting next to Dana...Dana says " he's mine" and Strikeforce is allowed to try and beat any other promotions offer. Of course they are going to ignore him..wait for the inevitable UFC offer...and then if they can afford to they will beat it..but most likely just give him up.
cecils_pupils- May 20, 2010 at 4:45 pm
Dana already said he would drive the price up on Shields in a bidding war... so why would Strikeforce even bother negotiating when they had no plans to keep him?

Exactly. Nothing to see here folks. Besides, they can't afford any of their fighters asking for more money - it would mean they'd have to offer M1 less for Fedor fights... and Scott prolly likes his legs unbroken.
Cestus84- May 20, 2010 at 4:44 pm
Isn't Dana gonna do to A.Silva if he pulls off what he did at 112 again. Of course the circumstances are different, but never the less, its releasing a title holder.
Cestus84- May 20, 2010 at 4:34 pm
U know, I have to agree, this makes a lot of sense. Sheilds wanted to eb a free agent to see how much he's worth, fine, beat it.
MediumRare- May 20, 2010 at 4:32 pm
@ mac-theproofreader-readysshack

No. Mute.

As in they aren't speaking....

Aw, fuck it. You got me.
MediumRare- May 20, 2010 at 4:30 pm
The point is moot. Strikeforce will fold and be gobbled up by the UFC in 2010 (or at least I hope so).
macreadysshack- May 20, 2010 at 4:26 pm
Dickface- May 20, 2010 at 4:17 pm
Perhaps Scott Coker is like, "hey, if he's gonna act like that then fuck him". Then the UFC doesn't have to offer him as much money when they most likely would have got him anyway. Then, Scott Coker can be like, "look, if you gonna play me for a bitch and roll over there to da UFC, then you aint gonna get paid. Ya hear me"
jimbonics- May 20, 2010 at 4:02 pm
How the fuck could you ever consider simply releasing one of your belt holders? Unless it's because of TomFuckery like Anderson. Who ya gonna give the belt to? Hendo?

Well, he did say he was "comin' affa dat belt".
LickMyAoki- May 20, 2010 at 3:55 pm
It's good posture by Strikeforce. They have a chance to match any offer, see what Dana offers first why take a chance in paying more than you have to. Jack should take some notes from Vadim and co.
Dickface- May 20, 2010 at 3:50 pm
I'm pretty sure that they(SF) are pretty sure that he's(JS) gone(to the UFC)
Starry- May 20, 2010 at 3:50 pm
Dana must be loving this