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Jake Shields wants team mates, Gilbert Melendez and Nick Diaz to follow him to the UFC

July 7, 2010 Uncategorized

Former Strikeforce middleweight champion, Jake Shields has explained he’d like nothing more than to see his team mates, Gilbert Melendez and Nick Diaz follow him out of the door and sign with the UFC, adding Strikeforce don’t know how to treat a champion.

Speaking via BJPenn.com, Shields said:

“I hadn’t really been talking to Strikeforce and pretty much everyone knows that I want to go to the UFC. We got our negotiations going with the UFC and they (Strikeforce) dropped me without any warning and it came out of nowhere. It is what it is and I’m moving ahead with the UFC contract and hopefully that will be worked out soon.”

“[Strikeforce] They certainly didn’t treat me like a champion. I went up there thinking that I was the champion, didn’t have any tickets and wasn’t able to get in. Finally one of the Showtime guys was able to get me in and then Scott Coker had some tickets for me but they were way way way up in the stands where I barely could see and I was really surprised because I didn’t realize that is how Strikeforce treats their champs. …They obviously wanted Henderson to win from the beginning and they were a little upset about that but I guess they just got mad at me for winning.”

I’m brand new to the UFC but they have treated me absolutely wonderful much better than Strikeforce to this point. They return my phone calls and I get seats unlike Strikeforce but so far things have been absolutely perfect. I don’t want to knock Strikeforce because that’s not my style even though they did treat me like shit which was unnecessary because I never talked bad about them.

“Honestly I would love to see Gilbert [Melendez] and Nick [Diaz] in the UFC. Even though Strikeforce is a good show, everyone knows it’s the number two show. They have a handful of good fighters but all the top competition is in the UFC and I feel that Nick and Gilbert are good enough to fight at the highest level. I would love to see them come over and once I get signed I’ll have to put that in Dana’s ear.I just don’t see Strikeforce putting the marketing strength behind him as they didn’t for me.”

I feel like they (Strikeforce) want to go after the places that have already been built like Shamrock or Cung Le. They don’t seem really interested in building top young fighters in their prime. They had a great batch of young fighters like me, Nick, Gil and King Mo but they weren’t interested in great young fighters and instead all the push went to ‘has beens’ like Shamrock and Cung Le. It seemed like they wanted to push people who were no where near their prime.

Strikeforce delayed over resigning Shields ahead of his bout with former UFC and PRIDE legend, Dan Henderson, thinking “Hendo” would pull off the win and they could get him on the cheap. When things didn’t go to plan, an out of contract Shields was free to tout himself also to the UFC, somewhere it appears he’ll be ending up in the next few weeks.

By Michael Pepper. (Follow me on Twitter)

Why not tell us what you think about this story and get your thoughts featured in this week’s Mailbag? Email Mailbag@mmabay.co.uk, start the subject with the word ‘MAILBAG’ and we’ll post our favourites this Friday.

Photo by Esther Lin – STRIKEFORCE

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