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Middleweight Champion Jake Shields dropped from Strikeforce roster

There will be no bidding war for Jake Shields.

Strikeforce has released their middleweight champion from the roster, a man widely considered to be among the most talented and respected fighters on the promotion’s talent pool.

The news of Shields’ dismissal from his duties as a Strikeforce athlete first came in a report from Loretta Hunt at Sherdog.com.

Shields recently toppled Dan Henderson in the last fight on his prior contract with Strikeforce which eventually left him open to discuss his future with other promotions. UFC President Dana White had openly expressed interest in signing the talented Cesar Gracie trained veteran, long recognized as one of the top fighters in the welterweight and middleweight divisions, and a war of contract offers was expected to ensue between Strikeforce and the UFC. A contract war that never happened.

Strikeforce’s recent decision to drop Shields from their roster in favor of holding a middleweight tournament to establish a new champion in the division is nearly unprecedented in the business, and sent a direct message that they will not play ball in situations such as this in the future.

“In the conversation we had today, they said they felt that Jake was leaning towards the UFC. Honestly, we were talking to them with an open mind, though Jake wants to fight the best,” said Jack Shields, the recently released champion’s manager and father. “Between Strikeforce and EliteXC, Jake had the chance to fight on Showtime and CBS four or five times against some top fighters like Dan Henderson and Robbie Lawler. Strikeforce gave him great opportunities and exposure. They’ve been nothing but great for Jake.”

The likliness of Shields winding up competing in the UFC’s welterweight or middleweight divisions in the near future appears to be an inevitability at this point.

“We didn’t come to agreement with Strikeforce, but Jake’s excited to challenge himself against the likes of Anderson Silva and others in the UFC,” said Jack Shields.

20 COMMENTS
  • manny says:

    As expected…. This add depth to the UFC’s MW division.
    Only thing is how many fights ’til he gets a chance to fight for the belt? 1 or 2?
    Either way, Silva will remain MW champion.

  • G-DUB says:

    Good for Strikeforce!! He clearly was just using them to pad his contract with the UFC. He showed total lack of respect showing up as he did as a UFC show merely a week after his win over Hendo. Personally, I’m thrilled with this Strikeforce show of strength. Now why can’t they do they same with fighters holding title belts hostage??

  • Creature says:

    I like jake shields and was literally jaw dropped when watching the fight with him and hendo, hes very talented but i honestly cant see him beating silva, marquardt, or chael sonnen, and i cant see him beating jon fitch, koscheck, or GSP, he will be top 5 MW and WW in UFC but i cant see him being champ, but best of luck to the guy

  • Creature says:

    Oh and if shields decides 2 fight as a WW i could see him fighting the winner of fitch and alves 4 a title shot maybe?

  • twyg says:

    G-DUB you say good for for SF, why? Is this how they are going to do business in the future; just roll over like a dog? The big argument in favor of multiple orginazations is that they would compete for fighters raising the fighters salaries. This I think is indicitive of SF and speaks volumes; in the end they just can’t compete with the UFC. So all you UFC haters can start making excuses for SF, but in the end this just proves they are a minor league orginazation that won’t even try to keep a reigning champion. Simply gutless.

  • G-DUB says:

    Twyg …. I agree with you in that SF just CANNOT compete with the UFC, at least not at the present time. However, it was pretty clear to me that Shields was leaving anyway, so why not save some face by making news that you dropped him first? It’s better than the headline “UFC snatches away SF champ”. I get the impression that Shields and his father/manager think they’re really slick businessmen, but they haven’t handled this negotiation well and this is proof positive. I usually side with the fighters, but in this instance I’m happy to see SF avoid getting totally tooled by a fighter I wouldn’t pay to see. I guess you could say, in that regard, he belongs in Strikeforce.
    Strikeforce cannot compete, but I’m happy they’re around as an alternative for those fighters who don’t care to get owned by the UFC (nothing against the UFC … just that every fighter now has a choice). Look at Overeem for example ….. keeping himself busy by fighting 5-7 times a year all over the world. Would he have this opportunity with the UFC? Nope.

  • FierceFlamingo says:

    I wonder who is the better middleweight… Chael Sonnen or Jake Shields?

  • Niv says:

    I think this is a big signing for the UFC. I see a lot of names being listed by some here yet all the names on the list in my opinion would or could lose to Hendo.

    I think if the UFC is smart they have him fight at 170lbs and give him a title shot at GSP, he’s just as worthy as anyone for that shot.

    Now for anyone that just wants to crap on SF for letting Shields go, do you think you may be assuming that SF didn’t make an offer? I doubt they just cut him without trying to negotiate terms, I think they must have seen that the UFC was driving up the price and just cut him as they felt they can’t pay anymore than they offered.

  • Lethal Liquid says:

    This dude was a free agent. This is one more matchup Strikeforce loses in the future. I said before that Strikeforce needs depth and development. This move isn’t helping. They gotta build for the future

  • cocoonofhorror says:

    sweet. it will be awesome to see him get shitcanned twice in a row in the UFC, then be forced to Japan with his tail between his legs.

  • Rece Rock says:

    The SF ship continues it’s deep 6…

  • cocoonofhorror says:

    LMAO @ Jake fighting for a belt. wtf are you guys smoking? he has the standup of a retarded kangaroo, minus the power.

  • twyg says:

    Honestly Niv I don’t think they made an offer. They were willing to overpay for Hendo; why not at least drive the price up so DW has to overpay for Shields? Then again maybe it’s not about money for Shields, but compition. I am used to these things going public, and maybe Coker keeps these things behind closed doors instead of negoicating(?) through the media. This just looks like a bad move for a company starved for talent.

  • Niv says:

    You can’t drive up a price too much without potentially getting stuck. These are contracts they’re negotiating and if you make a high offer and it gets accepted you’re stuck.

    I’m sure they offered what they felt they could and let him go after seeing the negotiations were continuing.

    Of course none of us know what’s happening behind the scenes but I’d be shocked if they just cut him with no offer made.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    first off lets not forget that Hendo was brought in to take the belt away from Shields G-DUB who we all know had one fight left on his contract and is GREAT FRIENDS with Chuck and was even on his coaching staff on the show. SF knew he might jump ship so thats why Hendo was brought in. talk about lack of respect. and now it looks good on paper that they let Sheilds go when WE ALL know the truth. I want SF to do well but you have them signing a over the hill one style Hendo to be your posterboy and he gets his ass handed to him. You have Fedor vs Overeem all ready to go up untill he got caught by Werdum in a title contender fight all of a sudden talks of a Fedor/Werdum rematch????? This is SF and Fedor lost so shouldnt he get the title shot like Rogers did???? and when Overeem is calling out Werdum a guy he lost to before Croker goes on the mike and talks Fedor/Werdum rematch?? How has anything that SF did or have happen to them in the last month any good for them. Its one big fucking mess

  • Makington says:

    Haha I never thought about it like that moosebaby. I guess Fedor technically earned the title shot by losing the contenders bout.

    Never say never…

  • Dufresne says:

    I won’t pretend to know what happened with closed door negotiating, but I will say that I’m surprised and kinda irritated at SF yet again.

    When they first came out a couple of years ago I really thought they were going to be the next big thing. I didn’t think they were going to pass the UFC, at least not for a number of years, but they kept making good business deals, good fighter signings, and good matchups. But lately it’s just been a trainwreck.

    I think it more or less started with letting Overeem do whatever he wanted and not defend his belt for over 2 years. I think the next big step was when they signed Hendo, gave him an immediate title shot, and promoted the match like he was a sure-fire win and the fight itself was just a formality. I won’t pretend to understand to understand how SF does their matchmaking or their promotional work, but it seems almost random at certain times, and flat out insulting at others. Until these last two events it seemed like every card was filled with some fighter v “TBA” up until a few days before the event. And for one event they’ll promote the crap out of one fight, i.e. Fedor/Rogers, and get decent viewership for the card; but then they’ll schedule what looks like a dream card with 3 championship bouts and not put a single commercial on TV until the day before. Then in the event they spent almost 75% of the promotional time on Henderson, who had never fought for SF before, and how amazing a fighter he was. I don’t remember them mentioning Shields except in passing, never mind the fact that he was the current MW champion and had won a WW championship at another MMA organization. Then he goes out and embarrasses Henderson and instead of doing their damnedest to keep a reigning champ, very marketable posterboy (let’s be honest, he’s not the ugliest MMA fighter out there), and one of the few recognizable names they have, they give up before there’s even a clear cut idea on what the UFC would offer? How is that smart business?

    Things like this combined with the terrible ratings they got on CBS last time out and the terrible commentary team make me really think that SF is on the same path as EliteXC.

  • CMT says:

    Cocoon said he has the standup of a retarded kangaroo. That is some funny shit. I cannot even remember my comment now.

  • LiverPunch says:

    All those that say he wouldn’t be able to compete with bla bla bla. Just wait and see. I think Hendo was the 2nd best MW at the time he left and after an early scare Sheilds completely controlled him. Seen anyone else do that? A. Silva didn’t.

  • bigbadjohn says:

    He’s talented, very talented. But he should be down at 170 where he belongs. He’d be a contender to GSPs throne that was at least not from AKA!

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