Friday, December 9, 2022

Boxing Gold Medalist Claressa Shields Signs With PFL

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields is officially making the move to MMA.

According to an MMA Junkie report, Claressa Shields has signed with the Professional Fighters League (PFL) and will compete in the lightweight division. Shields has conquered the sport of boxing and will now look to do the same in MMA.

After beginning her boxing career with an astounding amateur record of 77-1, Claressa Shields has gone 10-0 as a professional. Shields won a gold medal in both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, becoming the first boxer (male or female) to win back-to-back medals in boxing. Two years after her second gold medal, she was voted to be the Female Fighter of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association. Shields also has a mainstream presence, winning a 2017 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award in 2017. This signing is sure to garner a ton of interest for the PFL and specifically its lightweight division.

Another woman who made the transition from the Olympics to the PFL’s lightweight division is Kayla Harrison, who has been a success story for the promotion. Harrison is 7-0 in the PFL and was the winner of the most recent PFL women’s lightweight season. Claressa Shields will have an opportunity to match or possibly surpass Harrison’s lightweight run, beginning with following Harrison’s steps of not jumping headfirst into the PFL’s season tournament but starting off with one-off fights for the promotion.

Something else Clarissa Shelds and Kayla Harrison have in common is an interest in fighting Amanda Nunes. Shields made headlines earlier this year for seeking a fight against Amanda Nunes to which Nunes responded with a stern warning to the Olympic boxer. With this signing, Shields has demonstrated that she is committed to making the transition from boxing to MMA and that she was not giving lip service when speaking openly about sharing the Octagon with Nunes someday.

There is currently no set date for when Claressa Shields will make her PFL debut.

How do you think Claressa Shields will fare in MMA?