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PhotoCred: Drake Riggs

Abigail Montes admits ‘fighting for the PFL is a different level’ ahead of debut vs. Claressa Shields

Abigail Montes is PFL bound for just her third professional bout.

At 21-years old, the Lobo Gym representative gets a huge opportunity as she makes her promotional debut opposite two-time Olympic gold medalist in boxing, Claressa Shields.

“When I first found out, I was excited,” Montes told MyMMANews. “I’ve been following Claressa’s career all throughout boxing and I’m following it now while she transitions into MMA. This is a very high-level opponent and this is the kind of test that I want and to be the best, you have to beat the best. That’s exactly what I plan to do.

“There are many fighters out there who would dream of opportunities like this and for me, I’m going to seize the moment and see what other big opportunities lie ahead after this.”

Shields made her MMA debut in the PFL cage in June when facing Brittney Elkin. After a tumultuous first two rounds, the world-class boxer rallied to put away her adversary with strikes in the third and final frame.

Montes understands how skilled the 26-year old Olympian is while still recognizing the areas she can succeed in.

“Claressa Shields is an elite-level fighter,” she said. “We all saw how dangerous her hands were in her last fight, but there are a lot of nuances in martial arts. You have to be able to mix in the striking with the grappling and do it all at the same time instantaneously. Being able to fight in MMA is just something I’m able to put together a little bit more. We saw holes in her game that we’re gonna look to take advantage of.”

Early into her MMA career as well, Montes has gotten off to a quick start by going 2-0 in two notable promotions.

Montes’ MMA debut came against Claudia Zamora in the 135-pound bantamweight division – Zamora just recently made her own PFL debut.

The “Brave” nicknamed Mexican wound up earning a unanimous decision against Zamora which now gives her a slight confidence boost. At the same time, she acknowledges the differences in every fight and how much experience she has to gain.

“They were positive experiences that I had with Combate and iKon [in my first two fights], but fighting for the PFL is a different level,” Montes said. “The way they treat the fighters, the way everything is getting handled – it’s a much higher scale. They’ve elevated the game for my career – what I expect when I approach fight weeks and approach fight camps. They make it very simple for me to focus 100-percent on my training and be the best fighter that I can be heading into the fight night.”

Abigail Montes is fully prepared to be her best self going forward. By doing so, she proudly waves her country’s flag into her new promotion and feels happy to be any sort of role model and inspiration for those in Mexico.

Her potential participation in a PFL 155-pound lightweight million-dollar tournament would make her the first Mexico native to ever enter.

“No matter what, the goal is always to enter the PFL tournament,” Montes said. “It’s a big opportunity, there’s a big prize that comes at the end and I’m here to seize every single moment and opportunity that I can get in MMA.”

Montes and Shields will square off on Oct. 27 at the PFL 2021 Finals.

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