Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Jake Shields defeated former PRIDE Welterweight and Middleweight champion Dan Henderson at Strikeforce: Nashville last weekend. With the victory, Shields finds himself in the unique position of being a free agent while holding the Strikeforce Middleweight title.
UFC President Dana White talked to USA Today about potentially signing Shields.
“I don’t know,” White answered when asked if Shields would fight for the UFC next. “We’ll find out. Obviously, Jake feels slighted there.”
White went on to note that Strikeforce made a mistake by betting on Henderson to beat Shields.
“You never should gamble on fights,” White told Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports. “They bet on (Melvin) Manhoef, (to beat Robbie) Lawler. Lawler was very unhappy and they wanted to get rid of him, but it backfired because he knocked Manhoef out. Then they treated Shields like (expletive), let his contract expire and they put all their money on Dan Henderson.
“Now, Shields destroys Henderson and look where they’re at. That’s not how you do business.”
White also took a couple of parting shots at Dan Henderson, with whom he was locked in a contractual negotiation gridlock late last year before Henderson went on to sign with Strikeforce. White noted that he expected Henderson to beat Shields, however Hendo ended up getting dominating and looking old in the process.
“I’m one of the 1,000 (who thought Henderson would win),” White told USA Today. “But I wouldn’t have (expletive) bet on it, you know what I mean? If I had the promotion and had both guys, I wouldn’t have bet that (expletive) Dan Henderson was going to win.
“That’s what they did. They treated that kid like (expletive), let his contract expire and were waiting for Henderson to beat him up. Henderson went in there and looked like a (expletive) old man and got dominated, and now they’re standing there going, ‘Uh oh. How the hell did that happen?'”
As for Shields, he hinted during an interview with Mark Wayne of FightLine.com last week that he would be interested in fighting for the UFC next.
“I just want to fight the best in the world,” Shields stated. “I wanna fight the best. I mean, it doesn’t mean I’m going to the UFC, but I would like to fight guys like Anderson [Silva] and GSP. That doesn’t mean I’ll get them for sure but those are some guys that I’d love to fight one day.”