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Shields released by Strikeforce

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Sherdog.com's Loretta Hunt has the story:

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.

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker confirmed to Sherdog.com that the promotion informed Jack Shields, the fighter's manager and father, of the release on Wednesday. Coker would not comment further on the decision.

Shields was a perfect 8-0 under the banners of EliteXC and Strikeforce, winning the EliteXC welterweight championship and the Strikeforce middleweight championship.

Now, according to the report, Shields' father, Jack, said they want UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, as they feel the welterweight division is too tied down.