"My 30 days is up today," Shields said on Thursday. "Today I consider myself a free agent. EliteXC still has no reply, but as far as the contract goes, I'm a free agent today."...
"My dad manages me," Shields said. "He's just started looking around today. Obviously the UFC being the top show that I'm looking at, but I'm definitely going to look around a little bit. Hopefully I'll be signed somewhere in the next month and be fighting within two or three months."
So according to Shields he is a free agent as of right now, and desperately wants to fight the #1 WW in the world in Georges St. Pierre. If he indeed is a free agent, I do expect him to be signing with the UFC shortly. However, I don't think he will be throw to the wolves for his first foray into the octagon. The perfect match up for Shields would be Diego Sanchez and here's why.
I currently have Diego Sanchez at #5 in world at welterweight, and Shields at #6. Diego is coming off the injury that forced him off the UFC 90 card and should be ready to go by the time Shields is signed sealed and delivered. I know Shields got some exposure with the CBS deal, but he's still not a household name per se. IF he is able to get past someone like Diego Sanchez, that would give him instant credibility with casual fans of the UFC. If Sanchez is able to beat him, well that's just another way of letting Dana White gloat about how he has the best fighters when compared to the competition. GSP, Jon Fitch, and Josh Koscheck all have fights lined up with Alves probably waiting on the winner of GSP/Penn.
A Sanchez vs. Shields match up would be hotter than two muskrats in a wool sock. Both fighters are great on the ground, but Sanchez has the edge in the striking department. Hey Joe Silva...make it happen!