Respect The GWOAT

Claressa Shields tried to tell you.

“T-Rex” made her professional MMA debut on Thursday in Atlantic City, NJ, for the Professional Fighters League in impressive fashion.

Shields (11-0 Boxing, 1-0 MMA) earned a TKO win in the third round of a headlining showcase against Brittney Elkin (3-6) at PFL 4.

Shields (is an undisputed world boxing champion at junior middleweight and a three-belt champion at middleweight. In her quest to prove she is the “greatest woman of all time” in the fight business, or the GWOAT, Shields took her talents to the cage.

However, unlike her purely dominant boxing performances, Shields survived a tough two rounds in her MMA debut. She was taken down and controlled on the canvas for the majority of the first two rounds.

However, Shields was never out of the fight as she didn’t take significant damage from Elkin.

After landing strong punches early in the third round, Shields sprawled on the canvas blocking a takedown attempt. She then elected against following her coach’s guidance when intuition kicked in.

“Coach kept saying, ‘If you get her on the ground, let her up,'” Shields said post-fight. “But I’m like, ‘I’m not letting her up.’ Then she turned towards me, I pushed my hips down again and kept hitting her. And then it was over.”

Shields’s confidence has been viewed as over the top, turning away many traditional combat sports fans. As the reigning best female boxer globally, Shields has been on a campaign to solidify her greatness to the world. She also has been very vocal about gender inequality in fighter pay, revealing that she still has yet to make a million dollars as the best in her craft.

After promoting the first-ever all-female PPV card and remaining the only U.S. Olympian to win back-to-back gold medals in any sport, Shields’ victory goes a long way towards proving her claim to be the “greatest.”

“Listen, I never doubted myself winning a boxing match in my life. MMA is something like, it’s possible I could lose this first fight,” Shields said.

“I don’t want to lose. I’m gonna try dang hard not to lose. And that’s what I did. I had a never-quit attitude. … And when I heard my coaches say, ‘Let her up,’ I told myself, ‘Hell, no.'”

Is Claressa Shields the GWOAT?

There might still be some levels she needs to achieve for that designation, especially as a two-sport athlete. Like another who calls himself “The Best Ever,” confidence and skills will usually sway widespread consensus.

Now all she is missing is the big paydays for her historical efforts, and that is the greatest tragedy of all time.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.