Olympian Claressa Shields signs multi-year MMA deal with PFL

Olympic gold medalist boxer Claressa Shields signs multiyear deal to fight in MMA, sources say

Olympic gold medalist boxer Claressa Shields signs multiyear deal to fight in MMA, sources say

Two-time gold medalist and undefeated boxing champion Claressa Shields made headlines this week when news broke that she'd signed a multiyear deal with PFL to compete in MMA beginning in 2021.

Shields is the highest profile female boxer to cross over to MMA since Holly Holm, and she has similarly impressive credentials, having help multiple titles in three different weight classes in addition to being a two-time Olympic gold medalist.

She will make her debut next year, and she hopes to have two or three MMA fights along with two boxing matches during 2021 before she attempts to win the PFL title in 2022.

Claressa Shields rose to prominence following back-to-back gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics for Team USA.

The 25-year-old, who has a 77-1 amateur boxing record and is 10-0 as a professional, has been flirting with the idea of competing in MMA for some time, and at one stage was even seen training with MMA star Cris "Cyborg" Santos, who has had ambitions to compete in the boxing ring.

Shields insists her primary motivation is to win belts in both sports, but she has acknowledged frustration with the boxing industry's inability to make her a star on the level of her male counterparts or MMA's top female athletes.

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While she doesn't have her first opponent lined up yet, Shields previously challenged UFC champion Amanda Nunes to two fights: one boxing match and one MMA bout, neither of which came to fruition.

"Just me being who I am, of course I want to fight the best".

"I can say, it's not as bad as I thought it would be", said Shields, on the grappling aspect of MMA. "I can't wait to get to work!" The situation is identical to what defending lightweight champion Kayla Harrison did in 2018 prior to the inclusion of a lightweight season in 2019.

Shields told ESPN about switching to MMA. "I know they 're used to it, all of these cloud chasers are there".

"I'm really taking this seriously".

The 25-year-old Shields hinted at the move through Twitter on Monday. I'm 10-0 as a pro. Chiefly, Claressa Shields has spoken about a move to MMA for a while now and it seems to be coming to fruition. "To train smart will be what I try to do throughout my whole MMA career". Shields now competes in boxing under the Showtime Boxing banner. The 2021 season is tentatively set to begin in April if it can be fully compliant with the protocol at the time, and looks likely to take place in Las Vegas.

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