Claressa Shields can be added to the list of women from boxing willing to cross over to mixed martial arts (MMA). Shields will be facing Ivana Habazin on October 5 for the WBC Diamond and WBO junior middleweight titles and last weekend, she expressed interest into a potential bout with current UFC bantamweight and featherweight champion, Amanda Nunes. Shields is currently undefeated in her professional boxing career with a record of 9-0.
Speaking with TMZ over the weekend, Shields said she is young enough to step away from boxing and spend time preparing to face Nunes. “I wouldn’t just jump in the octagon with Amanda Nunes,” Shields said about the hypothetical bout with Nunes. She admits she would need time to learn the other aspects of what makes mixed martial arts and would need a good amount of time to prepare. “That’s me giving her, her respect,” Shields added about being willing to crossover to MMA.
Shields added that if Nunes wanted to come over to boxing first, she would gladly return the favor and face her in an MMA match. The only issue would be the agreed-upon weight according to Shields, “I’m not a 145[pound] fighter, the lowest I’ve been since the age of 16 is a 152 pounds.” Shields said her match against Habazin is at 154 lbs. for reference.
While there is no women’s lightweight division in the UFC, one promotion does have a path for Shields to jump into and that is the Professional Fighters League (PFL). They are in mid-season of the first women’s lightweight tournament and one of Nunes’ training partners is currently competing there, Kayla Harrison.
Expressing interest is enough to gauge whether or not a match is worth making. After all, Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. were able to face each other in a one-off event that was successful for both boxing and MMA.
Do you think Shields would do well in MMA with the right preparation?