The three-division boxing titleholder and two-time Olympic gold medalist is now making a long-rumored move to MMA signing a deal with the “PFL” (Professional Fighters League).
The 25-year-old Shields is (10-0) in pro boxing. She also won the gold medal at the London games in 2012 and in the Rio games in 2016. The “GWOAT” has suffered one amateur loss in her career, basically making her unbeatable in her pro and amateur careers.
The talk of her joining MMA has been echoed since 2019. Especially since woman’s boxing doesn’t command the same payday or visibility that MMA does. She even discussed becoming a two-sport athlete in October 2019, with the understanding that she could make more money in the MMA realm.
In December 2019 she attended UFC 245 and discussed doing a dual-sport series with UFC champ Amanda Nunes. In January of this year, prior to her most recent boxing match, Shields even announced that she planned to fight in the MMA by the end of 2020.
In her last fight on January 10th she annihilated (Ivana Hazabin) to win belts at 154 pounds, already having won some at 168 after gaining undisputed status at 160.
For the biggest name in woman’s boxing to join MMA shows, there aren’t really many attractive fights for her in boxing. Her only loss albeit pro or amateur was to British fighter Savannah Marshall, who would easily be the biggest fight she could make.
The only issue is Marshall fights at 147 (Welterweight) and I just don’t see Shields going down that far for a fight even though it’s a chance to avenge the only defeat he’s had in her entire boxing career. This MMA move is very risky but if it works it could be a huge payoff.
Per reports “Shields will take one-off fights at lightweight to begin he career in MMA with PFL.”
Lightweight in MMA is 155 pounds.
As far as the boxing goes, she’ll be able to outclass just about any opponent she’s in with. The only intriguing opponent would be former champion Laila Ali who is 42 years old. There are a couple of potential opponents, but it seems like those women don’t REALLY want to romp with Shields.
The other side of that coin is, if she’s in with a grappler who can get her on the ground, that is likely to be a big problem and could easily lead to defeat.
READ MORE: Can Claressa Shields Save Women’s Boxing?
Shields is going into some new uncharted waters but she’s a gamer and I expect her to be successful in anything she tries.