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Jake Shields Visits WEC 48; Dana White Says 'He's Mine'

It was just a week ago that Jake Shields stunned most of the MMA world when he upset Dan Henderson to retain his Strikeforce middleweight title at Strikeforce: Nashville. The win put Shields in a fantastic position in his career; a free agent in the midst of a 14-fight win streak, and with a major promotional championship around his waist.

On Saturday night, Shields was in Sacramento, Calif., for WEC 48, and in a probable bit of foreshadowing, the broadcast showed him sitting at ringside next to UFC President Dana White, who clearly voiced his belief that Shields was on his way to join him in the UFC.

"He's mine," White mouthed to the cameras, with his arm around a smiling Shields.

Shields was a member of Chuck Liddell's coaching staff during season 11 of The Ultimate Fighter, and has voiced a desire to face the best fighters in the world. In recent weeks, White said he had an interest in Shields and said even if he didn't sign him, he'd drive up the price for Strikeforce to keep him in the fold.

Shields (25-4-1) was a major underdog against Henderson despite being the champion, and overcame a nearly catastrophic first round at Strikeforce: Nashville before asserting himself with takedowns and ground position. There have been rumors that Shields could be inserted directly into a title match with UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, though White has repeatedly stated he'd wait for Shields deal with Strikeforce to run out before officially courting him.

According to sources, Shields has a 60-day matching period for any offers, though most insiders believe that the UFC could structure a deal in a way that makes it very difficult to match.

With Saturday's display, White appears to have his mind made up on making a big offer to Shields.