Former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Jake Shields made his UFC debut this past weekend after jumping ship for the higher-profile promotion this past July. Shields cited his displeasure with Strikeforce’s promotional strategies as one of the main reasons he left his title behind to compete in the UFC and, as he tells MMAFighting.com, he believes a promotional imbalance still exists within the Strikeforce promotion.
Shields’ Cesar Gracie teammates Gilbert Melendez (lightweight) and Nick Diaz (welterweight) both hold Strikeforce gold in their respective divisions and Shields doesn’t believe that Strikeforce is putting enough focus on either man, showing a perceived lack of respect for the immensely talented fighters.
“Strikeforce is a good organization,” Shields said. “But ultimately, I feel they don’t push the right people. I don’t feel like Nick & Gilbert have gotten the attention they deserve. They pick guys like Cung Le to push. And they push Gina Carano and Frank Shamrock. But they have Nick and Gil, who are both top five fighters in the world. UFC would be the best spot for both of them.”
Successful in his UFC debut against Martin Kampmann, Shields told MMAFighting that the flagship MMA promotion lived up to its reputation and that his experience with the UFC was far superior than that with Strikeforce.
“Yeah, definitely. In my first fight in the UFC, they gave me way more push than Strikeforce did the whole time I was there,” he said. “The UFC just knows how to market. They know how to build stars and they know what they’re doing. They’re really professional.”