As one of the best female boxers of our time, Claressa Shields dared to be great in a transition into MMA—and it paid off after a come-from-behind victory.
At PFL 4 on Thursday, a heavy amount of pressure collected on the shoulders of the only boxer in history, female or male, to hold all four major world titles in the sport, including the WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO titles in two weight classes simultaneously. Shields, 26, would enter the PFL cage with an unblemished boxing record of 11-0. Conversely, her opponent Brittney Elkin, 35, has been fighting in MMA since 2011.
Many understood that if Shields did not work on her ground game leading into her MMA debut that she could perhaps run into trouble, while she faced adversity for two rounds, the former Olympian and renowned boxing champion came back from behind to secure a TKO victory on the mat. The crazy part is, her coaches screamed for her to get the fight back up to the feet, but Shields would ignore her corner’s advice, and went on to secure a statement TKO victory on the mat.
Following the spectacular PFL debut performance, Claressa Shields released a statement about her first fight inside the MMA cage.
Certainly, many are excited to see the boxing star back in the cage already. As her first fight delivered beyond expectations, Shields capitalized on a big stage. With such pristine accolades on the line, many believed she represented the sport of boxing with pride and tenacity. With her first MMA headliner in the books, the future looks bright for Claressa Shields.
What did you make of debut performance Claressa Shields at PFL 4?