Friday, December 9, 2022

Claressa Shields “Can’t Wait” To Silence Doubters In MMA Debut

Two-time Olympic boxing gold medalist Claressa Shields says she’s itching to prove that boxers have what it takes to succeed in MMA when she makes her PFL debut on Thursday.

Shields, a multiple-time boxing world champion, will make her highly-anticipated professional MMA debut against lightweight Brittney Elkin (3-6) at PFL 4 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The bout will not be a part of the PFL lightweight regular season, but a one-off fight.

Expectations are high for Shields to achieve in MMA what she has in boxing. The self-titled GWOAT — Greatest Woman of All Time — is boxing’s biggest female star. She’s undefeated in 11 professional fights and carries an astounding amateur record of 77-1.

Given her accolades, many fans and pundits predict she might one day challenge UFC two-division champ Amanda Nunes for women’s MMA supremacy. Shields shares this prediction, stating earlier this year that once she develops as a fighter, she’ll give Nunes a “really good, tough, gruesome fight.”

Claressa Shields

Claressa Shields Vows to Make a Statement In Debut

Shields has however attracted some doubters, who share the widely held belief that boxers don’t have what it takes to succeed at the highest level of MMA. Much of this belief centers on the lack of grappling skills boxers possess.

Since late last year, the 26-year-old has been on the fast-track to attaining these skills, training alongside the likes of Jon Jones and Holly Holm at Jackson Wink MMA.

Responding to predictions that she’ll be taken down and submitted by Elkin, Shields tweeted that she’s ready to prove she has what it takes to claim victory on debut.

“I can’t wait to put this to rest, been working too hard,” tweeted Shields.

Whether Shields can prove the doubters wrong remains to be seen. But going by her past statements, she clearly isn’t someone who engages in self-doubt.

The American has previously labeled herself as second to Muhammed Ali in boxing’s list of all-time greats, further claiming that in a boxing match, “98 percent of men in the world can’t beat me.”

What do you think? Will Claressa Shields prove her doubters wrong in her MMA debut?