Claressa Shields Reveals Why She Chose PFL Over UFC

Published 12/16/2020, 6:32 AM EST
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 21: Gold medalist Claressa Maria Shields of the United States poses on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Women’s Boxing Middle (69-75kg) on Day 16 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro – Pavilion 6 on August 21, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)


Claressa Shields recently shocked the world when she decided to give MMA a go. The self-proclaimed ‘GWOAT’ signed a deal with PFL that will see her in an octagon early next year. ‘T-Rex’ will take it one fight at a time and will not compete in PFL’s season based format. 

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Shields has been critical of the boxing community for being sexist and feels that MMA gives women a better platform to be able to showcase their skills, which is why she decided to switch over to MMA. Her addition to the sport opens up the possibility of super fights with the likes of Amanda Nunes and Cris Cyborg among other female MMA fighters. 

Read: Claressa Shields thrilled after a BJJ session

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Claressa Shields will aim to become a two-sport champion with a switch to MMA 

When Claressa announced that she would fight in an octagon, most fans and pundits alike figured that she would join the UFC. However, she joined a rival promotion in PFL. In a recent interview, a reporter asked Claressa why she joined PFL and not the UFC. 

Claressa replied, “Umm, It was just a conversation. It was not like ‘hey, come and train a few months and then fight against the best girl we have at your weight’. I feel like that is unfair to me, and it’s not giving me enough time to learn. If you give me two years to learn and then fight against the best girl you have, alright cool.”

 

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Shields continued, “The conversation with Dana was almost like a one-fight deal kinda a little bit. And then with the PFL it was more of like, let’s train let’s start you off at this level as you work your way up the competition will get harder. Then I would compete in the PFL 2022 season.”

Claressa has taken her first steps towards becoming an MMA athlete by training at JacksonWink MMA. Under the guidance of two of the best minds in Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn, Claressa is sure to blossom into a fine fighter. 

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – APRIL 13: Claressa Shields reacts after defeating Christina Hammer (not pictured) and becoming the women’s undisputed middleweight champion at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on April 13, 2019 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Not to mention, world-class fighters will surround her, such as Jon Jones, and Holly Holm, among others.

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Kevin Binoy

915 articles

Kevin Binoy is an MMA author at EssentiallySports. He earned a Bachelor's degree from Fergusson College and has been covering sports professionally for over two years. Besides working with the MMA writing team, Kevin is a core member of the organization's web stories team and is responsible for delivering engaging MMA web stories.

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