“[My release from Strikeforce] came as kind of a surprise. 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… They certainly didn’t treat me like a champion… I’m just talking to UFC at this point and I’m sure we will work something out. I’ve really wanted to fight for the UFC for about a year or so and it just wouldn’t make sense for me to fight anywhere else. Especially if Dana White and the Fertitta brothers and everyone at the UFC is being really fair and it just wouldn’t make sense for me to go elsewhere… That is why I didn’t resign. Strikeforce is a great show and overall I have nothing bad to say about them even though we have seen some things differently at this point. But right now they are clearly the number two organization and the UFC is clearly the show to be in right now. I think I’m in my prime and I’ve had a great first part of my career and I feel it’s time to go to the big show… 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 and Nick 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…”

—Jake Shields talking to BJPenn.com about his release from Strikeforce and his future with the UFC

Clearly, there’s no love lost between Jake Shields and Strikeforce. On one hand, Strikeforce really did treat Jake like he was some mid-level journeyman instead of their middleweight champion, but on the other, it’s pretty clear Jake had every intention of signing with the UFC once his contract was up anyways, so I can’t really blame Strikeforce for not letting Jake use them for leverage, especially after he appeared on a Zuffa broadcast all buddy-buddy with Dana White.

Image via Esther Lin for Strikeforce/Showtime