Strikeforce Champions May Soon Be Free AgentsTwo Strikeforce champions could become free agents after April 17th. Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Jake Shields and Light Heavyweight Champion Gegard “The Dreamcatcher” Mousasi are both on the final fight in their contracts and could test free agent waters after their upcoming bouts. reported earlier today that Mousasi may sign a long-term contract extension following his April 17th bout with Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal. Win or lose in April, Shields will be free of his contractual obligation to Strikeforce and could begin negotiations with the UFC.

Shields (24-4-1) enters the Strikeforce: Nashville card as the reigning Strikeforce Middleweight Champion and defends against former two-division PRIDE champ Dan “Hendo” Henderson. While most contracts – including Mousasi’s – feature a champion’s clause that allows a promotion to extend the length of the deal for its champions, Shields has no such clause in his contract. The jiu-jitsu specialist will be free to leave Strikeforce whether he wins or loses on April 17th. He has stated that he is happy with Strikeforce and will stay as long as the promotion finds him quality opponents.

Mousasi (28-2-1) does have a champion’s clause, which will extend the length of his contract by one year if he defeats Lawal in April. Should he lose, he would be free to sign with any other promotion of his choosing. Like Shields, Mousasi has said that he is enjoying his time in Strikeforce, but both he and Shields have previously expressed a desire to compete in the UFC. Earlier today, Mousasi stated that he may sign a new long-term deal with Strikeforce, possibly for as many as seven additional fights, following his battle with Lawal.

With challengers running very thin for Mousasi and his participation already announced for the upcoming DREAM Light Heavyweight Grand Prix, he may find his way into the Octagon soon, but a victory over Lawal will keep him in Strikeforce for the foreseeable future. Shields has stated his intentions to challenge UFC Welterweight Champion Georges “Rush” St. Pierre and could make the jump to the UFC to make the fight a reality. The situation for both fighters hinges largely on the outcome of their upcoming fights.

Strikeforce: Nashville takes place on April 17th at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. The event will air live on primetime CBS television.


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  1. Shields will be gone I think win or lose, but Mousasi isn’t going anywhere win or lose. He just signed an extension with Dream not long ago. If he doesn’t resign with Strikeforce he’ll only be fighting for FEG not the UFC anytime soon with a current contract to fight in Dream also. Anyone think that’ll fly with Zuffa?

  2. Agreed. Mousasi wants to go to the UFC, but he won’t leave Strikeforce for a while yet. It depends a lot on how Strikeforce progresses as well because they still have some issues to overcome.

    Shields is probably going to leave either way, but if he gets brutally knocked out early in the first round (which is a strong possibility), his bargaining power will be lessened considerably.