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Claressa Shields Signs Multi-Year Deal with PFL

Claressa Shields already reigns over boxing, having won two Olympic gold medals as well as professional titles in different classes. Next on the list for the Olympic medal boxer to conquer is the mixed martial arts world.

It has been confirmed via various news agencies that Claressa Shields has indeed signed a multi-year deal with mixed fighting promotion PFL (Professional Fighters League). Claressa Shields told The Associated Press during an interview that she will make her PFL debut in 2021. She is on a mission to become the first woman to hold simultaneous titles in both MMA and in boxing.

Claressa Shields has hopes of having two or three MMA fights as well as two boxing fights during 2021 before she makes an attempt to win the PFL championship in 2022.

Following an interview with The Associated Press on Monday, Claressa Shields went on to comment and say:

I’m not trying to do this for the show, I’m really taking this seriously, I’m not thinking that just because my hands are better than everybody else that I’ll win. I’m really going to strengthen the things that I’m weak at.

Shields now has to realize that she has a steeping learning curve ahead of her as she hopes to fight as a 155-pound lightweight in the PFL. Shields, who is slightly new to jiu-jitsu, wrestling, as well as kickboxing, added: “I’ve never kicked anybody in my life, not even in a street fight“.

Of course, Shields is a phenomenal athlete; she has the work ethic to match and feels confident in her ability to master other forms of MMA following the proper training in hand.

Many fighters have done what Claressa Shields is planning on doing including boxing champion Holly Helm, who went on to change sports and knock out Ronda Rousey to win a UFC belt, while Conor McGregor paralyzed his UFC success with one single fight against Floyd Mayweather.

While the Claressa Shields rumour of trying out MMA has been rumoured for years, Shields also had also expressed the interest in having a matchup with UFC champions Amanda Nunes and Cris “Cyborg” Justino in a boxing ring. Now that the talk is real, Shields is eager to do the work necessary to make her dreams into a reality.

When the news broke over Thanksgiving, the Shields family reacted with varying degrees of disbelief. Claressa’s mother didn’t believe her at first, while her sister on the other hand angrily warned Claressa against trying to fight men. Claressa’s father, on the other hand, along with her boyfriend, was happy as well as excited for Claressa.

Shields, who is from Flint, Michigan, hasn’t settled on a training regimen or an MMA home gym just yet. She wants to train with some of the best MMA fighters as well as coaches, including UFC fighter Jon Jones, whom Shields spoke to about training with him in Albuquerque. She will also talk to other MMA stars about training dates. Claressa has also mentioned that she will rely on her trainers to give her the green light on when she is ready to fight, rather than throwing fists in haste.

The plan for Shields is to work her way up the ladder in competition with a series of one-off PFL fights. UFL conducts yearly tournaments with a $1 million grand prize and Claressa hopes to be in the 2022 field.

Claressa Shields’ last boxing match was in January. She isn’t quitting boxing though, as she plans to make an announcement on a new date for her postponed junior middleweight title fight against Marie-Eve Dicaire in which Claressa will attempt to unify four 154-pound championship belts.

The undisputed middleweight champion wants to make history and become the first-ever female boxer to hold that distinction in two weight classes. A she is 10-0 as a boxer, she isn’t worried about the time she will spend on MMA getting in the way of her boxing career.

We at Sports Obsessive wish Claressa the best of luck!

Written by Salvatore Casto

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