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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker is "tossing around numbers" with the manager of his current middleweight champion, Jake Shields, but he will not get into a bidding war for the fighter's services.

"To me, there's going to be a value that we feel is fair, and that's going to be it," Coker today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I don't think it's good business to go into [the bidding] business."

If the two sides can't strike a deal on a new contract, Coker said the promotion likely will hold an eight-man tournament that could begin at a planned Aug. 21 event in Houston. The winner would be crowned the new champion.

"If it works out (with Shields), great," Coker said. "If not, Strikeforce has a bunch of great middleweights, and we'll go into the tournament business. We're still fleshing out the details, but we're leaning toward that."

Shields' manager and father, Jack Shields, today opened the door to non-exclusive negotiations – known as the "matching period" on a fight contract – after the fighter's exclusive negotiation period with Strikeforce expired earlier this week.

Jake Shields (25-4-1 MMA, 3-0 SF) fulfilled his Strikeforce obligations in April at "Strikeforce: Nashville," where he defended his middleweight belt with a win over UFC vet Dan Henderson. However, Shields technically is not a free agent until the matching period expires, and the time of that clause currently is unknown.

For now, Strikeforce has the option to match offers from other companies.

"Jake's a great fighter, and I consider him a friend," Coker said. "It's something that we're working on, but we have a lot of great middleweights on our roster, and we look forward to the future to see what happens."

Of course, fans have buzzed nonstop about Shields potentially moving to the UFC. Although Shields recently has competed at middleweight, he hasn't ruled out a return to welterweight, where the UFC has a stronghold on the world's top talent.

While Shields previously has taken Strikeforce to task for its minimal promotional push behind him, the fighter repeatedly has said he isn't necessarily unhappy within its ranks. He has, however, stated that he wants to test the waters of free agency and fight the sport's best.

All too happy to aid him in that quest is UFC president Dana White, whose ill will toward the San Jose, Calif.-based Strikeforce has been displayed by his recent claim to Shields.

"I don't think it's rocket science," White said this past weekend after UFC 114. "Everybody knows he doesn't want to be there anymore. They suck, we don't, and he's coming here."

Showtime executive Ken Hershman – whom White refuses publicly to acknowledge – has a lot of respect for Shields. He's seen a lot of the fighter over the years – first with EliteXC and then with Strikeforce – as he's risen from a top mixed-martial-artist prospect to a champion.

But if Strikeforce can't come to terms with Shields, Hershman is OK with a change.

"If things don't work out, we wish Jake and his team the best," Hershman, the executive vice president and general manager of Showtime Sports, told MMAjunkie.com on Thursday.

The Showtime executive agrees with Coker that a potential new deal has to make good business sense if Shields is to continue with Strikeforce. While he clearly would like the champion to fight on Showtime, he believes the promotion can survive if Shields moves on.

"I think Jake is a great champion and great proponent of mixed martial arts, and if he and Strikeforce can come to terms that make sense for everybody, then I'd be happy to see him back fighting on Showtime," Hershman said. "But there is no single fighter that makes or breaks any division in Strikeforce."

Coker said he is targeting Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal (7-0 MMA, 2-0 SF) for the Aug. 21 event in Houston, and he's targeted Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza (12-2 MMA, 2-0 SF) for the possible middleweight tournament. No venue is set for the event, which was first reported by MMAFighting.com.

For more on the potential "Strikeforce: Houston" event, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of MMAjunkie.com.
http://mmajunkie.com/news/19421/strikeforces-scott-coker-says-no-bidding-war-for-jake-shields-tourney-possible.mma

This could be more fun than Shields honstly. I mean Hendo, Jacare, Smith, Lawler, Mayhem, Cung Le? Shamrock or Smoking Joe. Could work out well to help them build a new star.
 

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Sounds great to me. Shields is boring as watching paint dry I say **** him, let him leave. Im sure Jon Fitch could be Champion in Strikeforce doesn't really mean Strikeforce want's that.

Not only would Strikeforce get an exciting Champion we would get a excited Tournament to find the one deserving. Honestly the only down side I can see in this is Miller not getting his rematch, which really is not even a big deal because the first fight was semi-excitng for hardcore fans and absolutley dreadful for casuals watching CBS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I wonder if Nick Diaz would try going up to MW since they don't seem to have anybody in the way of WW threats.
 

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I wonder if Nick Diaz would try going up to MW since they don't seem to have anybody in the way of WW threats.
I hope so. He's being wasted in the SF Welterweight division that consists of some solid prospects and mediocre fighters.

Shame Shields is leaving essentially with the title. I hate when fighters don't beat the linear champion and I'm sure fighters hate it as well. No one to blame but SF for this though. Should have locked him up prior to the Henderson fight instead of dicking him around on the promotion of the event.

SF certainly has enough good guys at MW to have an intriguing tournament. I would say Henderson, Jacare, Miller, and Diaz (if he wants in) are locks. Lawler if he beats Babalu and doesn't want to bulk to 205 or Babalu if he beats Lawler and wants to cut to 185 would be in. Smith/Cung winner will no doubt be in although chances are they'll both be in. Then you've got your pick of Frank Shamrock, Joey Villasenor, Tim Kennedy, Melvin Manhoef, and Matt Lindland to fill out the rest of the field. Very worthy Middleweight tournament.
 

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Maybe im being picky here, but the title will seem less legitimate to me if Mayhem or Hendo were to win it. These guys both got thoroughly handled by Shields, regardless of how he did it, Shields owned them. Having one of those two win the title will just give the UFC fuel to talk Strikeforce down. Jacare needs to step up and win the belt if they have a tourny for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Maybe im being picky here, but the title will seem less legitimate to me if Mayhem or Hendo were to win it. These guys both got thoroughly handled by Shields, regardless of how he did it, Shields owned them. Having one of those two win the title will just give the UFC fuel to talk Strikeforce down. Jacare needs to step up and win the belt if they have a tourny for it.
I wouldn't say Mayhem got thoroughly handled by Shields. The fight was relatively even with Shields controlling but Mayhem having more real offense. Shields clearly won I am not disputing that but the fight was not as one sided as your implying.
 

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Maybe im being picky here, but the title will seem less legitimate to me if Mayhem or Hendo were to win it. These guys both got thoroughly handled by Shields, regardless of how he did it, Shields owned them. Having one of those two win the title will just give the UFC fuel to talk Strikeforce down. Jacare needs to step up and win the belt if they have a tourny for it.
You need the top middleweights and they're some

as for Mayhem he did have Shields in the last two rounds I think and he did have the RNC in really good for a good 15 seconds or so
 

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Maybe im being picky here, but the title will seem less legitimate to me if Mayhem or Hendo were to win it. These guys both got thoroughly handled by Shields, regardless of how he did it, Shields owned them. Having one of those two win the title will just give the UFC fuel to talk Strikeforce down. Jacare needs to step up and win the belt if they have a tourny for it.
While both fighters were dominated by Shields, it doesn't change the fact that they are the best MWs Strikeforce has. I'm pretty sure Lawler was handled worse than either of the other two.

Does the UFC really need fuel to call Strikeforce the B league? The truth hurts sometimes.
 

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Issues

Lawal is the Strikeforce Lightheavyweight Champion and has no reason to drop down. Mousasi on the other hand claims that weight issues is why he moved up to lightheavyweight, but after being handled the way he was against King Mo he might want to reconsider dropping back down!
 

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A tournement would be awesome. A 4-man tourney is the more logical option, however an 8-man tourney would pull in more publicity and money. :happy03:


Jacre Souza (vs) Dan Henderson
Two clear cut favorites to win the middlweight championship of the world to go at it in the opening round of the tournement. This would be insane, yet very exciting.

Jason Miller (vs) Nick Diaz
Even though Diaz still has business at Welterweight with Jay Heiron, seeing him move up to middlweight would be interesting. A tough fight against Mayhem Miller spells one word: FIREWORKS!!!:fight01:

Cung Le (vs) Scott Smith
I do not think its fair to call either of these guys NON-CHAMPIONSHIP material. At the end of the day, Cung Le, is an ex-middlweight StrikeForce champion and Smith is one tough S.O.B.. If Smith can catch Le again, the "blue collar" fighter deserves the right to move up in the ranks and eventually earn himself a title shot. Smith would could the "Cinderella Story" of this tournement.

Robbie Lawler (vs) Yancy Medeiros
Even though Lawler has his hands full with Bablu, it would be nice to see him take part in this tournement. A match against an undefeated, up & coming middleweight contender, Yancy Medeiros, would be exciting to watch. Win or lose, Medierios is a pretty good fighter. Mederios is coming off a unanimous descision vioctory over Luis Castillo in Feburary.




*Under the assumption that Lawler gets beaten pretty bad or suffers an injury then a replacement like Matt Lindland, Trevor Prangley or Karl Amoussou should be considered.

**Frank Shamrock should not be fighting anymore and despite Smokin' Joe's heart, I think Villasenor should sit this one out.
 
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