White says he's still undecided about TUF 13 coaches

Steve Cofield

Reports have emerged that the winner of the Josh Koscheck-Paul Daley fight at UFC 113 in Montreal will be a coach on Season 12 of "The Ultimate Fighter" and will face off as a coach against UFC welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre.

UFC president Dana White told Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole that he's still undecided on the coaches. When asked if Strikeforce middleweight champ Jake Shields is a possibility, White had a nervous laugh.

Yahoo! Sports' Dave Meltzer pointed out in a Friday story that Shields' current contract is still very much up in the air:

Shields’ contract with Strikeforce is near its end. Technically, he still has one fight left after Saturday, but Shields says he has no championship clause like those in UFC deals, where the contract extends as long as you hold a championship. But he noted that the contract is running low on time, and that it’s doubtful he’ll get that last fight in before it runs out. At that point, he’ll be a free agent.

The deal is time-based and runs out in two months. Shield could be free in June with taping for TUF 12 set to begin around the same time. That's convenient. Also throw in White's dislike of Showtime/Strikeforce and you could have one determined promoter trying to steal away Shields.

"Obviously, Jake feels slighted there," White told USA Today. "They were betting that Henderson's going to beat Jake Shields. They're betting that (Melvin) Manhoef was going to beat Robbie Lawler. So they get sideways with the guys and let their contracts run out so they can do contracts with these other guys that they think are going to beat them. That's what they did. They treated that kid like (crap), let his contract expire and were waiting for Henderson to beat him up. Henderson went in there and looked like a (freaking) old man and got dominated, and now they're standing there going, "Uh oh. How the hell did that happen?"

Shields would be a great get for the UFC and a natural to become one of the TUF 12 coaches with the winner of a fight against either Daley and Koscheck getting a shot at GSP in early 2011. It would also allow the UFC to build Shields' name with those unfamiliar with anything non-UFC and keep St. Pierre active. With so many cards proposed this year, can the UFC really afford to put GSP on the bench until December?