Claressa Shields Secures Legendary Third Round Comeback Finish At PFL 4

Claressa Shields Secures Legendary Third Round Comeback Finish At PFL 4

The PFL returns to Atlantic City, New Jersey for PFL 4 tonight, June 10, 2021.

This is the last regular season event of the year, showcasing the featherweight & lightweight divisions, with every card following being a playoff event.

Headlining the event was supposed to be a lightweight bout between former WEC & UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, who was expected to face Alex Martinez tonight.

However, Pettis withdrew from the bout yesterday with an illness and was replaced by Natan Schulte. 18-3 Mikhail Odintsov was Schulte’s original opponent tonight, who was left without a dance partner. Hopefully the PFL can reschedule that epic bout.

Pettis will now face Raush Manfio at PFL 6 next month, July 25.

Lance Palmer and Movlid Khaybulaev were also expected to fight tonight, but they’ll end up facing one another at PFL 6. There were a number of rescheduled bouts tonight.

Speaking of the main event being cancelled however, the new main event showcases the greatest female boxer of all-time, who’s still only 26 years old mind you, Claressa Shields. She’s a three-division, eight-time world champion with a professional record of just 11-0, but she’s already beaten all the best boxers.

She’s a two-time Olympic gold medalist, the first to ever do that in boxing, male or female, and she went 77-1 as an amateur. She’ll be making her mixed martial arts debut tonight.

Look at Holly Holm, she did it and became a world champion. Shields is a better boxer than Holm as well, but she may not have caught onto the kicks as well as Holm did. We’ll find out tonight!

Shields’ opponent, Brittney Elkin, may be a dangerous fight for her though. Elkin may be just 3-6, but that’s nine MMA fights to Shields’ zero. That’s nine times Elkin has fought in a fight that threatens with grappling, it’s a very different story.

Of course, Shields is a better striker, most likely, certainly a better boxer, but that doesn’t always translate. She is a great athlete, and if anyone can do it, it’s her!

Continue reading to see how this epic and historic main event encounter went down:

Official Result: Claressa Shields def. Brittney Elkin via TKO at 1:44 of round three

Round 1

Elkin comes out allowing Shields to take the center, using her front kicks to keep distance and bait Shields into her.

Shields gets over eager with an overhand and gets taken down. She initially stuffs it, but couldn’t stop it in the end. She does make it back to her feet, surprisingly, but gets taken down again and gets quickly mounted.

She does keep from being submitted, but remains on her back for the rest of the round.

Round 2

Shields starts out round two incredibly well, piecing Elkin up handily with her precise boxing. She stuns Elkin, forcing Elkin to shoot on a takedown. Shields stuffed it beautifully, she did such a great job, but reengaged in the grappling and ended up on the bottom.

Elkin again secures mount, and again reigns down some heavy ground-and-pound. Shields is doing a great job of defending though, against a BJJ brown belt nonetheless.

Elkin goes for an armbar to end the round, which allows Shields to scramble and get on top, where she reigned down some ground-and-pound for the final 15 seconds.

Round 3

The beginning of round three is looking a lot like the beginning of round two, which is good for Shields.

She’s landing hard shots on Elkin, forcing Elkin to shoot desperately. Shields stuffs the takedown again, but stands up this time. She waited until she knew Elkin was on her back to go back down to the mat.

She was in better position, and she was landing some heavy offense that Elkin was not defending. Shields was absolutely relentless in continuously punching Elkin while on top, and secured the stoppage at 1:44 of the round.

After losing rounds one and two the way she did, to securing the finish in round three against an opponent of that BJJ rank, someone who was walking into their tenth MMA fight while Shields was walking into her first, this was nothing short of astounding.

The potential she has in this sport is insane.

After seeing this fight, there’s no question how much Claressa Shields can do in MMA. She’d only trained for seven months, and didn’t get submitted after nearly ten minutes on the ground with a BJJ brown belt. Just spectacular.

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Brady Ordway
I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon Versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That's the first fight I ever saw, and I was immediately hooked. So eventually, I began covering the sport in the fourth quarter of 2018, and have since started writing about animals as well. If you'd like to see those pieces, be sure to check out!