Boxing World Champion, Claressa Shields is set to make her transition to MMA and has signed with the PFL according to MMA Junkie. Shields has won two Olympic gold medals and amassed a 10-0 professional record. Shields is the unified women’s middlewight champion.
According to The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger, Shields looks to debut April 23rd and the contract is a multi fight deal. Also mentioned by Coppinger, Shields plans to continue to box and is set to fight Marie-Eve Diclaire early next year.
Shields has expressed the desire to fight in MMA in the past and has recently started training for the transition. Her last fightwas a unanimous decision victory over Ivana Habazin in January. The women’s middleweight division in boxing is 153 pounds, and PFL, of course, has a lightweight division at 155. The king of that division: Kayla Harrison.
Junkie’s sources also state that, similar to Harrison, Shields will take one-off fights at lightweight to begin her career.
The accomplishments of Claressa Shields
As mentioned at the top, Claressa Shields is one of the most decorated boxers of all time. She currently holds the WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO women’s middleweight belt. As an amateur, she racked up an incredible 77-1 record and two Olympic gold medals. Shields looks to be the second women’s boxing champion to cross over and win a major MMA belt, the first being Holly Holm.
Claressa Shields and Kayla Harrison are in the same division but don’t count on Shields and Harrison being booked at the first PFL event next year. PFL will likely want to build up the resume of Shields before throwing her in the deep end with Harrison. Shields will likely meet Harrison one day, but first, she needs to prove she’s ready for all aspects of mixed martial arts.
As for Harrison, Claressa Shields might be enough to keep her around for another year or two. As I discussed in this post, Harrison is out for glory and a fight with UFC champion, Amanda Nunes, provides just that. Having Claressa Shields in your division, a boxing World Champion, might be enough to keep Harrison around a little longer.
Stay posted to My MMA News for all the latest surrounding Claressa Shields MMA debut, the official PFL announcement and more. Thanks for reading!
Be sure to check out The Fight Library podcast where boxers and MMA fighters alike come on and talk fighting! Available everywhere you get your podcasts.
Your friendly neighborhood fight fan. I watch way too many fights and my wife lets me know it.