Not many people thought Jake Shields could pull off the upset against Dan Henderson, but he did and now he’s in the best negotiating position of his career. Shields maintains he’s going to wait for the offers to roll in before he decides whether to stay with Strikeforce or leave for the UFC, but if you ask Dana White, Jake’s decision has already been made.

“Jake Shields is definitely going to leave Strikeforce,” said White, “and he’s definitely coming to the UFC.”

Don’t take that to mean Shields has already signed a contract with the UFC. Dana will have to wait for a 60-day exclusive negotiation period to pass before he can legally sign him. Unless Strikeforce offers Jake a small fortune and keys to the castle though, Dana probably doesn’t have anything to worry about. Jake says he’s more interested in challenges than money.

Now that he’s put on extra weight and muscle to fight at 185 pounds, Shields is willing to fight at either weight class if the UFC comes calling, though he says a fight with Georges St-Pierre still sits at the top of the list of fights he’d love to have.

“To me the challenges come before money. Obviously I want to make money. Everyone wants to make money. I’ve finally started getting some money in my life, but I’ve been doing this sport for like 11 years and I certainly didn’t get in it to make money. I think the most you could possibly make when I got in it was like 10 to 12 thousand (dollars) a fight, maybe like 15/20 for the top, top guys. So I wasn’t looking at this like I’m going to get rich,” he said.

There’s no question which organization can offer him the bigger challenges, so unless Strikeforce is willing to pay him a lot more than he’s worth, it’s probably safe to say Jake Shields is going to the UFC.

Image via Esther Lin for Showtime