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Jake Shields Close to Being a UFC Fighter; Says Strikeforce’s Problem is that the Company Only Pushes Has-Beens

(Shields was pleasantly surprised to find his locker at the UFC training centre stuffed with the "respect" Strikeforce failed to show him.)

When Jake Shields announced that he would be testing the free agent waters when his Strikeforce contract ended this summer, every MMA fan and journalist collectively thought, "He’s going to the UFC." Strikeforce must have been thinking the same thing, considering they let Shields, who is their middleweight champ, go without a fight by releasing him without tendering a final offer before he began the open negotiation period with other promotions.

Even if a company like the UFC made an offer, Strikeforce, by rights could have matched any offer on the table, but by releasing him from his contract, the only thing they did was possibly prevent a bidding war resulting salary increase for Shields.

He told that the release was totally unexpected.

“It came as kind of a surprise. I hadn’t really been talking to Strikeforce and pretty much everyone knows that I want to go to the UFC. We got our negotiations going with the UFC and they (Strikeforce) dropped me without any warning and it came out of nowhere. It is what it is and I’m moving ahead with the UFC contract and hopefully that will be worked out soon.”

Although unexpected, Shields says it likely wouldn’t have mattered as the level of competition he could face under the Strikeforce banner at both middleweight and his usual home at welterweight. The company drove the final wedge between themselves and Shields at the Fedor vs. Werdum show June 25. A lack of respect he felt he had been shown was amplified that night and it severed the few remaining strands of chance that he might stick around.

“They certainly didn’t treat me like a champion. I went up there thinking that I was the champion, didn’t have any tickets and wasn’t able to get in. Finally one of the Showtime guys was able to get me in and then Scott Coker had some tickets for me but they were way way way up in the stands where I barely could see and I was really surprised because I didn’t realize that is how Strikeforce treats their champs. At that point I didn’t realize that we weren’t negotiating anymore and first off they didn’t give me any tickets and when they did they were in the nosebleed seats. Finally one of the Showtime guys was able to get me down in the front row. They obviously wanted Henderson to win from the beginning and they were a little upset about that but I guess they just got mad at me for winning.”

As far as his negotiations with the UFC are concerned, Shields says the deal is all but done and should soon be signed, sealed and delivered after both sides finish doing the numbers dance. Shields says that when the contract becomes official, he doesn’t want a tune-up fight, he wants to jump into the mix of contenders.

“I’m just talking to UFC at this point and I’m sure we will work something out. I’ve really wanted to fight for the UFC for about a year or so and it just wouldn’t make sense for me to fight anywhere else. Especially if Dana White and the Fertitta brothers and everyone at the UFC is being really fair and it just wouldn’t make sense for me to go elsewhere…It’s hard to put exact times on it because it’s one of those things. The numbers have to go back and forth, my dad’s lawyers will look over them and the UFC’s lawyers will look over them but I don’t think it’ll take that long. I think this point we are done with Strikeforce and I think we are pretty close to coming to an agreement. Because at this point I want to fight in the UFC and they say that they want me and there is no reason why we can’t get this done soon. I’m training my ass right now and I’m ready to go. I just want to get this contract done and I hope that they have a fight ready for me. Like I said I’ve always been a person who will step anytime…whenever and I’m just hoping that they will give me a big name right off the bat. I wanna go out there and show that I belong with the top dogs.”

Although he isn’t sure whether he’ll remain at 185 or move back down to 170, Shields says he hasn’t decided, but revealed that he will be pushing his teammates Gilbert Melendez and Nick Diaz to jump ship with him to the Octagon when their current deals with the "number two promotion" expire. As he did in Strikeforce, he may need to stay at or move up to middleweight if and when that happens to avoid being matched up with Diaz.

“I don’t want to knock Strikeforce because that’s not my style even though they did treat me like shit which was unnecessary because I never talked bad about them. Honestly I would love to see Gilbert and Nick in the UFC. Even though Strikeforce is a good show, everyone knows it’s the number two show. They have a handful of good fighters but all the top competition is in the UFC and I feel that Nick and Gilbert are good enough to fight at the highest level. I would love to see them come over and once I get signed I’ll have to put that in Dana’s ear. I think they are two of the best of the best. I know the UFC likes having the best of the best and it just makes sense for them to be there."

A big part of the disrespect Shields says not only he was shown, but also was heaped on guys like Melendez, Diaz and King Mo, was the fact that the promotion seemed to market itself on its more seasoned, bigger name fighters.

"I feel like they (Strikeforce) want to go after the places that have already been built like Shamrock or Cung Le. They don’t seem really interested in building top young fighters in their prime. They had a great batch of young fighters like me, Nick, Gil and King Mo but they weren’t interested in great young fighters and instead all the push went to “has beens” like Shamrock and Cung Le. It seemed like they wanted to push people who were no where near their prime.”

Cagepotato Comments

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fatbellyfrank- July 8, 2010 at 6:23 am
No one. No one says weed is bad for you. Only haters , now where's that bucket of M&M's
Dick_Gozenya- July 8, 2010 at 4:33 am
Jake Shields fights are so boring that when I saw him jump guard and guillotine Robbie Lawler I thought it was exciting. But then I watched him hyump Jason Miller on CBS. And I didn't like that.

Incidentally I happen to have a ROTR 5-disc set that has one or two of Jake Shield's fights but it is in storage and I have no current recollection of what the hell they are. I guess when we finally become reunited it will be like brand new all over again. Who says weed is bad for you?
Dick_Gozenya- July 8, 2010 at 4:24 am
Free?!! Lemme call my Mom and tell her I'm busy lighting my farts an I'll meet you guys down there!... no seriously, it's ten times worse if I don't call her.
fatbellyfrank- July 8, 2010 at 2:32 am
^ High fives and Bro shakes to 2dadeath, Sabado, Ballkick, Dick_wheresmypenis,Boner,Almost and all contributors. Woohoos and "nawimsaynsayn" all round. These smug hypocrites who come on here and accuse us of being immature, I would love to............ Hey guys, check it out Ghostboner's lighting up his farts, Bwahahahahahaha, come on, lets all light our farts, hey watch this...Bwahahahaha, Now as I was sayin, ah screw this, who's coming up the skatepark, my cousins got 3 joints he said we could have for free
ghostboner- July 8, 2010 at 1:24 am
@FBF and Almost North - double high 5ers to bof ya. It warms my heart to see how this Jake Shields fights are so boring joke has taken off.
fatbellyfrank- July 7, 2010 at 11:44 pm
@ Almost High Five dude
Almost North- July 7, 2010 at 11:38 pm
Jake Shields fights are so boring..

That Jamestoneyscontract is an elitist fuckface with no sense of humor.
fatbellyfrank- July 7, 2010 at 10:47 pm
@ Jamestoneyscontract, Correction, "would have watched 2 Jake Shields fights, but fell asleep because they were so fucken boring"
budsellers- July 7, 2010 at 10:39 pm
@nut swinger 9k

hate to get off topic to call somebody a crackhead, but you claimed that hendo is a top 5 mw. hendo is not actually even a top 10 mw. he is 2-2 as a 185'er since late 2007. sure, he knocked out bisping, who basically invited him to throw the ko punch by stepping right into dan's power for the entire fight, but his only other "recent" mw victory in the ufc was a boring decision over rousimar palhares.
The_Dead_Cow- July 7, 2010 at 10:19 pm
Jake Shields is so boring....

It's like watching a Jon Fitch fight with Ben Stein and Casey Kasom commentating.

Kickboxing is so boring.....

It's like watching a Jake Shields fight.
JamesToneysContract- July 7, 2010 at 10:04 pm
Nutpuncher: you wasted a lot of typing on a bunch of kids who've seen 2 Jake Shields' fights. Mayhem vs. Shields and Hendo vs. Shields. ZOMG JAKE Y U SO BORING, Y DONT U JUST STAND AND BANG.

These are the same kids who complain about how boring GSP for 2 weeks after every one of his fights, then go back to riding his nuts when the UFC hype train make them forget how "boring" he is.

Seriously kids, go watch kickboxing and leave watching MMA to people who can appreciate it.
halfbreed23- July 7, 2010 at 8:53 pm
Jake Shields will most likely be going back to Strikeforce because he will soon be a has been. I hope Strikeforce dropping him will cost him a few bucks :)
fatbellyfrank- July 7, 2010 at 7:58 pm
Yea, were having some issues with the anti-discrimination board about this, apparently the Kangaroos have had enough of us humans and the old"well they all look the same to me" arguments.
Dick_Gozenya- July 7, 2010 at 7:49 pm
Or are they... (pulls off Kung Fu mask) and the same?!

No, no, merely cousins. All these Kangaroo's look the same. (They probably say the same thing about me.)
fatbellyfrank- July 7, 2010 at 7:42 pm
@ Dick_ goesanywhereitwants, Just to clarify the carpark bout will be contested by Kung Fu Kangaroo, Corporate Kangaroo doesn't like getting his hands dirty.
Dick_Gozenya- July 7, 2010 at 7:10 pm
@ Frank's Bellyfat

The IFC has nowhere near the pyrotechnics and fog machines of Strikeforce. All IFC has is a moat of live crocodiles surrounding the cage (still pretty badass, but doesn't film quite as well).
fatbellyfrank- July 7, 2010 at 6:15 pm
But we love Strikeforce, who else but Coker would have the balls to pull off his patented "Lucky Dip, everyone gets a shot" method of deciding title contenders, or his championing of the Catchweight division, I'd suggest we're pretty close to seeing a Strikeforce Catchweight ( or money weight) championship bout.
Maybe Strikeforce can team up with IFC, they're starting to seem like they're made for each other.
2DaDeath- July 7, 2010 at 5:46 pm
@ Almost North:

Here, here!
Almost North- July 7, 2010 at 5:32 pm


Amen brother, heres to Bellator snagging the number 2 spot for good.
Nut Puncher 9000- July 7, 2010 at 5:00 pm
God I love a good burn...
fatbellyfrank- July 7, 2010 at 4:06 pm
Jake Shields fights are so boring............................................
.. They make Nutpunchers comments seem interesting in comparision.
jimbonics- July 7, 2010 at 3:53 pm
he will be pushing his teammates Gilbert Melendez and Nick Diaz to jump ship with him to the Octagon when their current deals with the "number two promotion" expire."

I had no idea those two were part of the Bellator Fighting Championship.
just some dong- July 7, 2010 at 3:34 pm
@ Nealio

GSP > Shields by means of riddum.

Nut Puncher 9000- July 7, 2010 at 3:15 pm
Jake Shields fights are so boring....

...He has stopped more opponents than GSP since late 2007.

The Shields hate on this site is pretty obvious and over the top.
Lets take a look at Shields' record and GSP's since late 2007:

-Dan Hardy - Is he really top ten? or UFC hyped top ten? Decision
-Thiago Alves - Decision
-BJ Penn - on its way to a decision when BJ decided that last round wouldnt be enough fun to lose by decision.(and BJ came up from 155) TKO/decision.
-Fitch - Decision
-Matt Serra - Nobody should argue that he is no where close to top ten. TKO
-Matt Hughes - This was the beginning of the end for Hughes. SUB/Armbar

Jake Shields:
Dan Hendo - Top ten MW - Decision
Jason Miller - Decision
Robbie Lawlor - Submission
Paul Daley - was fighting for UFC #1 contender recently - Submission (Kos couldnt finish)
Nick Thompson - Who? Well he was on a 12 win streak including a win over Eddie Alvarez - Submission
Mike Pyle - Submission

Fight totals since late 2007:
GSP - 3 stoppages (1 questionable against a 155'er), 3 decisions
Jake Shields - 4 Stoppages, 2 decisions (one against a top 5 MW)

Dick_Gozenya- July 7, 2010 at 2:14 pm
Jake Shields fights are so boring...

... the Fertitas are going to co-promote all of his main events with Wayne Newton and the Blue Man Group. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.