Dana White "very confident" Jake Shields will be in UFC, not as "TUF 12" coach
Dana White "very confident" Jake Shields will be in UFC, though not as "TUF 12" coach
by John Morgan on Apr 25, 2010 at 5:20 am ET
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – While Saturday night's "WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber" event was filled with several memorable moments, one of those lasting images was that of Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields sitting cageside with UFC president Dana White.
The picture was pasted on the in-arena screens for all to see, and the image was also featured on the evening's pay-per-view broadcast.
While White mouthed the words, "He's mine," the UFC exec later would wryly claim he was just watching some fights with the Strikeforce employee. Nevertheless, White's intentions with Shields are certainly clear.
Following the evening's post-event press conference, White told a small group of reporters that he's not currently negotiating with Shields but that he plans on doing so very soon.
"The deal with Shields is that there's some discrepancy whether it's 45 or 60 days he has left on his (Strikeforce) contract, so he can work that out with the knuckleheads, and when he does, we'll jump in there," White said.
In March, White told reporters that he was going to negotiate for Shields' services, though he seemed fine with falling short in the process so long as he hurt Strikeforce in the process.
"[Shields] is going to get paid because what's going to happen is we would love to take him from there, and I'm sure they'd love him to stick around," White said. "I will help drive that [expletive] number right up through the roof and let the Showtime boys pay him a lot of money."
Following Shields' convincing April 17 win over former UFC fighter Dan Henderson, White seemed a bit more resolute in his chase.
"I'm very confident he's going to be with the UFC," White said on Saturday.
One rumor that has been widely discussed is the potential for Shields to appear opposite UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre in the upcoming 12th season of "The Ultimate Fighter."
While it would be premature for White to promise such an appearance considering Shields is still under contract with Strikeforce, the UFC exec said the pending start of filming means that his potential new employee simply can't be considered for the show.
"The problem with 'TUF' is that you have to pull the trigger, and you have to make decisions on that immediately," White said.
"We actually just cast ['TUF 12'] last week. We start filming in five weeks."