Strikeforce released its middleweight champion, Jake Shields, from his contract with the organization on Wednesday, according to an industry source with direct knowledge of the negotiations.

The 31-year-old Shields had been in a final-phase “matching period” of his recently completed contract with the San Jose, Calif.-based promotion, which allowed him to receive bids from other organizations, including the UFC, that Strikeforce could review and match in order to keep his services. However, the source said Strikeforce waived that contractual right in its final 2-3 weeks and opted to release the Cesar Gracie fighter altogether before the period expired.

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker confirmed to Sherdog.com that the promotion informed Jack Shields, the fighter’s manager and father, of the release on Wednesday. Coker would not comment further on the decision.

“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 the elder Shields. “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.”

Shields, who successfully defended his title against former Pride Fighting Championships champion and UFC middleweight Henderson on April 17 in Nashville, Tenn., opted to not negotiate a renewal contract with Strikeforce prior to the bout. The fighter’s contract, which was originally drawn up by Pro Elite and purchased by Strikeforce after the short-lived fight organization went bankrupt in October 2008, also did not contain a standard “champion’s clause,” which could have placed stipulations on Shields’ renegotiations while he remained a titleholder.

Prior to news of the release, Jack Shields told Sherdog.com that he submitted the fighter’s asking price to the UFC on Wednesday and was awaiting an initial bid from the rival promotion to pass onto Strikeforce for review. The elder Shields said he submitted figures for a series of bouts he thought requisite if his son fought the top contenders in both the UFC’s welterweight and middleweight divisions.

Shields said his son would like to debut as a UFC middleweight, possibly against champion Anderson Silva, as welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre will be tied up with “The Ultimate Fighter” reality TV series and a pending bout with rival coach Josh Koscheck later this year.

“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 Shields.

In recent weeks, Strikeforce’s Coker had said the promotion had initial plans to hold a four-, eight-, or even 16-man tournament to crown a new champion if Shields vacated.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.
From Around the Web

Related News

Azerbaijan Federation releases statement on fighter death at local MMA tournament

  • 19 days ago
  • 1 views

The Azerbaijan Pankration Federation has released a statement regarding the 27-year-old fighter who died during a local MMA fight. Several days ago, it was reported that MMA fighter Ramin Zeynalov di read news >>

Crazy! UFC releases more video of emotional Anderson Silva finding out about UFC 183 drug test fail

  • 3 hours ago
  • 1 views

It has been a tough fall from grace for former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva, and now "The Spider" is being forced to relive his nightmare as UFC brass cont read news >>

Bellator 135 preview: Ryan Couture, son of a UFC legend, looks to make his own name in MMA

  • 26 days ago
  • 10 views

Former Strikeforce and UFC fighter Ryan Couture is currently working his way up Bellator's lightweight rankings after a successful debut last September. The next challenge ahead is Dakota Cochrane on read news >>

'Rumble' says coaches could be behind Anderson SIlva's test failures: 'We trust them so we take it'

  • 26 days ago
  • 3 views

Anthony "Rumble" Johnson recently spoke to FightHub about Anderson Silva's failed drug test, saying that he thinks Anderson's coaches could be at fault. read news >>

Anthony Johnson: Anderson Silva's team could be at fault for multiple failed drug tests

  • 26 days ago
  • 12 views

Because as "Rumble" puts it, fighters put their trust in their team, no questions asked. After a few months, the dust left behind by Anderson Silva's multiple failed drug tests seems to be dying down read news >>

Dana White: No matter what, UFC 'going to support' Anderson Silva

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

The UFC president made it clear that his company will stand behind it's former champion, regardless the outcome of his ongoing PED case. Anderson Silva has been with the UFC for almost nine years. Ov read news >>

Morning Report: Anthony Johnson believes Anderson Silva's team is to blame for failed drug tests

  • 27 days ago
  • 48 views

After UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones placed the blame on Anderson Silva's failed drug tests on his staff, No. 1 contender Anthony Johnson is following suit. Silva tested positive for steroi read news >>

Dana White promises UFC will stand behind Anderson Silva regardless of NSAC penalty

  • 27 days ago
  • 8 views

Unsurprisingly, no mention of Nick Diaz. I got your back, bro. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White is standing behind his former middleweight champion, Anderson Silva, even afte read news >>

Dana White: UFC ‘going to support’ Anderson Silva regardless of NAC punishment

  • 27 days ago
  • 12 views

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Anderson Silva failed multiple failed tests before and after his UFC 183 bout with Nick Diaz, and UFC president Dana White "has no idea what’s going to happen" next. Silva and Diaz, read news >>