UFC President Dana White appeared on-camera with Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Jake Shields at WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber last night. The two were shown arm-in-arm, and White later said that he was “very confident that he's [Shields] going to be with the UFC.”
“The deal with Shields, is that there's some discrepancy as to whether it's 45 or 60 days he has left on his contract,” White told a group of reporters after last night's post-fight press conference. “So he can work that out with the knuckleheads [Strikeforce], and when he does, we'll jump in there.”
Shields found himself in the unique position of being a free agent while holding the Strikeforce Middleweight title after defeating former PRIDE Welterweight and Middleweight champion Dan Henderson at Strikeforce: Nashville last weekend. White had let it known that he was intersted in signing Shields, and tonight seems to indicate that steps are moving in that direction. White had noted in an interview with USA Today earlier this week that Shields was unhappy with his current employer.
“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… 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?'”
Shields had also 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.”