Claressa Shields has long maintained an interest in fighting in mixed martial arts, and it appears she’s ready to back up her words with actions.
Shields has signed a deal with the MMA promotion PFL, per a report from John Morgan of MMAJunkie, and will compete as a lightweight (155-pounds) moving forward.
Shields, one of the biggest names in women’s boxing, has toyed with the switching of sports for over a year, and even appeared backstage at a UFC event last year with UFC president Dana White admitting a crossover fight between Shields and Amanda Nunes was of great interest. A few weeks ago, there was even talk that Shields would be the first headliner for a Zuffa Boxing event in December, but those plans were eventually reported as scrapped.
Now, Shields will instead head into MMA with the PFL. She will do so with an undefeated record of 10-0 as a professional and as an Olympic gold medalist. While her lack of experience in mixed martial arts might be seen as a huge disadvantage, her pedigree as a puncher is undeniable, and at 25-years old she still has room for improvement.
PFL’s current main attraction at 155-pounds is Kayla Harrison, herself an Olympic gold medalist in judo.