By CHRIS HOWIE
MMANEWS.COM Staff Writer
Top ranked welterweight and middleweight fighter Jake Shields is likely to put pen to paper this week as it is expected his transition from Strikeforce Champion to Ultimate Fighting Championship contender will be complete.
Shields spoke to MMANews.com last night and when asked how close a deal was to being signed he stated “It's very close. I'm just waiting for the contract now.”
It is expected Shields will sign a four fight deal with the UFC by mid-week with a possibility it could happen as early as Monday.
There have also been rumors that when Shields makes his debut it will be in the welterweight division against top ten ranked Martin Kampmann. Kampmann's agent Ken Pavia told MMANews.com although nothing is official it is a fight his client will take. “It's all rumors at this point. We haven't been contacted about the fight but if we are – we will be signing. This is the type of fight Martin wants. He wouldn't back down from a fight this big.”
Another source close to the Shields camp has told MMANews.com that if Shields is to get passed Kampmann, which is expected to take place in October at UFC 121, he would likely get the winner of the December title fight between Georges St. Pierre and Josh Koscheck.
Shields, who relenquished his Strikeforce Middleweight Title following the completion of his contract to sign with the UFC, is one of the top ranked fighters in the world to not be competing for the world's top promotion.
He is riding a fourteen fight win streak and hasn't tasted defeat since 2004. During the streak, Shields has dispatched top fighters such as Carlos Condit, Robbie Lawler, Paul Daley, Jason Miller, and most recently Dan Henderson, in a bout many expected him to lose.