No longer factual a boxer, Claressa Shields is now a winning mixed martial artist.
Shields (1-0), the two-time Olympic gold medalist and champion boxer, made her prolonged-awaited MMA debut on Thursday at 2021 PFL 4 against Brittney Elkin (3-7) in a non-unique season gentle-weight bout, rallying to arrangement shut by third-round TKO. The fight served as the major tournament of the evening on the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic Metropolis, N.J., which aired on ESPN 2.
Elkin saved Shields at distance early by threatening with kicks. A minute into the fight, Elkin shot in for a takedown and efficiently accomplished the strive. The major check of Shields’ profession on the mat turn out to be answered, as she labored her manner support to her toes temporarily, and ended up on top of Elkin after a hobble and started touchdown some indispensable punches.
— PFL (@PFLMMA) June 11, 2021
Elkin turn out to be ready to earn her home on top, keeping the bottom strain excessive on her opponent. A few moments later, she transitioned to beefy mount and started switching between attempting for submissions and touchdown ground and pound except the round ended.
— PFL (@PFLMMA) June 11, 2021
Shields began the second round with a little extra urgency by letting her hands fly and landed just a few fine punches. Elkin wasn’t attracted to spending too grand time on the toes and took the fight to the mat again, returning to beefy mount.
Elkin didn’t stride anything else from the home, radiant she turn out to be the extra experienced fighter on the mat. In direction of the tip of the round, she jumped on an armbar strive, however Shields turn out to be provocative to interrupt out it and earn to her knees. From there, Shields landed indispensable punches except the round ended whereas Elkin lined up.
The third round began with Elkin shooting in for a takedown that Shields defended effectively. After the sprawl, Shields rained down indispensable punches whereas Elkin held on to her opponent’s legs. With the specter of regaining home lessened, Shields endured to throw punches on the bottom except the referee seen ample.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) June 11, 2021
“I if reality be told feel esteem I’m dreaming! Right here is loopy,” Shields mentioned throughout her submit-fight interview.
After stuffing the takedown in the third round, Shields’ nook wanted the boxer to come support to the toes to let her hands dash.
“They had been announcing let her up, and I factual told myself, ‘hell naw’,” Shields mentioned.
Shields, 26, joined the PFL in 2020 and has been coaching at Jackson Wink MMA for over seven months alongside dilapidated UFC champions Holly Holm and Jon Jones to prepare for the jump from the boxing ring to the cage. On Thursday, the takedown defense she picked up in the coaching room led her to victory.
Undefeated in the boxing ring, she will be able to now name herself an undefeated MMA fighter as effectively after a ambitious crossover debut in Saturday’s major tournament.