Earlier this week, the MMA world got a superstar injection when world-class boxing champion Claressa Shields announced her move to MMA by signing with the Professional Fighters League. While Shields plans to stay active in both boxing and MMA, the move over to MMA has certainly turned heads including Miesha Tate. Recently in combat sports, it has been MMA fighters crossing over to boxing, so this move is big for all parties involved, especially women’s MMA.
Former UFC and Strikeforce champion Miesha Tate, also a pioneer of women’s MMA knows a few things about being a trailblazer in this sport and shared her thoughts on Shields making the move over to MMA. On her weekly radio show ‘MMA Tonight’ on Sirius XM, Tate provided her thoughts on Shields moving to MMA and some of the
"When you have somebody who is such a powerhouse and you put 4 ounce gloves on them, you can expect some magical things to happen."@MieshaTate reacts to the news of Claressa Shields signing with PFL and discusses when we may see a matchup with Kayla Harrison 👊🥊@RyanMcKinnell pic.twitter.com/DB5AwrzXU1
— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) December 3, 2020
“Boxing is very one-dimensonial when it comes to how it transitions to MMA, don’t get me wrong, boxing itself is a well-rounded develop sport within itself,” Tate said. “Then you take just boxing and you put it into a mixed martial arts game, it’s such a small part of exactly what we do. Then you have to get rid of the things that don’t work for MMA and implement new things.”
Tate added that while there will certainly be technical differences and changes Shields needs to make in her MMA arsenal if there’s anyone who can do it, it’s the unified world boxing champion.
When you’re Claressa Shields who has been crushing it in boxing it’s going to be a little bit more difficult for her to drop some of the habits that don’t work. I think it is much more challenging for a high-level boxer to come over to MMA, with that being said that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. I always enjoy the idea of the four-ounce gloves, when you have somebody who’s such a powerhouse like Claressa Shields and you put four-once gloves on them, the accuracy, the aggression, you can expect some magical things to happen.”
Claressa Shields will most definitely get her time and opportunities to be successful in MMA under PFL, as it wouldn’t make sense for them to rush her, and Miesha Tate believes it could be some time before Shields meets PFL’s biggest female star, Kayla Harrison.
“That is so hard to predict because we don’t know how far her natural athletic ability will carry her. That’s largely something we have to factor in. She may naturally have great takedown defense and insticts, insticts are huge. I would give a solid guess of maybe a year-and-half, maybe two years. But we have to see how she performs in there.”
It’s a pretty good assessment from Tate who knows quite a bit about what challenges Shields will face as she comes over to MMA, which could really be a big injection for the women’s side of mixed martial arts if she finds success.