‘Super Excited’: Claressa Shields Leaves Message for Fans Ahead of Saudi Arabian MMA Debut

Published 02/24/2024, 4:43 AM EST

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Claressa Shields is about to enter the octagon for the third time today in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Having dominated the female boxing world, the undisputed queen will go toe-to-toe with Kelsey DeSantis. However, before her comeback following two years of absence, she hopped on social media today to convey a message for her devoted fan base!

The event in Saudi is a concoction of PFL and Bellator fighters, who will fight each other in the stacked card tonight. ‘The Goat’ Shields will fight from PFL’s corner after she signed a multi-fight deal with them in August 2023. So, the only question left unanswered is, what did ‘T-Rex’ Shields have to say to her followers?

Claressa Shield is the first woman to…


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Turning to Instagram earlier today, the undefeated boxer claimed she was extremely excited about her fight tonight in the Kingdom of  Saudi Arabia. Shields claimed to be the first woman to fight in an MMA setting on Saudi Arabian soil. “Fight Day. [I am] Super excited to work toward the bigger picture! The first woman to fight MMA in Saudi Arabia happens today,” wrote Shield with hours left in her fight.

Meanwhile, her opponent, DeSantis, also had a lot to say about her clash with Shields. In a recent pinch, DeSantis appeared in an interview with Zenger News. When asked about her training camp for the upcoming fight and what Saudi Arabia has been like for her, she expressed her excitement. “It’s been great. It’s been a great camp, and I’m looking forward to a great fight,” said Santis. Meanwhile, she did not refrain from speaking about her preparation for the Shields fight.


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Kelsey DeSantis on Shields’ overall progress in MMA


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During the same interview, the reporter asked DeSantis about her thoughts on Shields’s time away from the octagon and whether she thinks it would have affected her performance. DeSantis, who is coming off a TKO win over Kathleen Nelson, claimed Shields could have learned a lot, but it takes more than two years to master it.

“I Have a Lot of Potential”: Claressa Shields Details Her Long-Term MMA Plans

“Personally, I think you can put in work in a year or two, but when it comes to all of the elements of MMA, the ground game, and whatnot, I don’t think it takes around 5 to 10 years to progress,” said DeSantis. Later, when asked about her strategy for Claressa Shield, Kelsey DeSantis satiated, “I have definitely pulled together some strategies specifically for this fight.”


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With mere hours left in their clash, both fighters have expressed their excitement about the night of punches, kicks, and what people are wishing could be an all-out brawl. However, only time can tell whether Claressa ‘T-Rex’ Shields can get a step closer to her championship goal in PFL. Do you think Shields will conquer MMA like boxing? 

Claressa Shields Reveals Her MMA Goal Ahead of PFL Comeback


Written by:

Sudeep Sinha


One take at a time

Sudeep Sinha is a Boxing writer at EssentiallySports. His string of noteworthy coverages includes USA Boxing’s new controversial guidelines, Francis Ngannou’s stunning boxing debut, and Amanda Serrano’s tussle with the WBC. Sudeep continues to contribute valuable insights with his passionate understanding of the ins and outs of the sport.
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Edited by:

Arijit Saha