Last month, Scott Coker told Josh Gross there was a very real possibility he would release Jake Shields before he became an unrestricted free agent.

He wasn’t kidding.

According to Sherdog’s Loretta Hunt, Strikeforce has granted Jake Shields his official release from the organization. Jake is free to sign with whomever.

Strikeforce released its middleweight champion, Jake Shields, from his contract with the organization on Wednesday, according to an industry source with direct knowledge of the negotiations.

The 31-year-old Shields had been in a final-phase “matching period” of his recently completed contract with the San Jose, Calif.-based promotion, which allowed him to receive bids from other organizations, including the UFC, that Strikeforce could review and match in order to keep his services. However, the source said Strikeforce waived that contractual right in its final 2-3 weeks and opted to release the Cesar Gracie fighter altogether before the period expired.

On Wednesday, Shields’ father/manager submitted their asking price to the UFC which they felt would be in line with Jake fighting the top contenders in the welterweight and middleweight divisions. In fact, with Georges St. Pierre tied up coaching TUF 12 opposite Josh Koscheck until the end of the year, the Shields are angling for a title fight against UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva. It’s doubtful they’ll get it, but it’s probably more of a negotiation tactic than a serious demand anyways.

In other Strikeforce news, it seems Scott Coker was unsuccessful in his attempts to convince Babalu Sobral to fight his friend and training partner King Mo. According to Five Oz., Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante will challenge King Mo for his Strikeforce light heavyweight title on August 21 in Houston.

Image via Esther Lin for Showtime