Claressa Shields will be back for the 2022 PFL season.
Olympic gold medalist boxer Claressa Shields will be continuing her journey in the world of mixed martial arts. Shields got her start in professional MMA as a member of the 2021 Professional Fighters League 2021 season. Shields’ future in MMA was unclear following the season as she looked to return to boxing, but PFL’s chief executive Peter Murray has confirmed that she will be back to compete this year.
“Yes, Claressa will be back [in the PFL] – she’s committed to becoming a two-sport athlete in both boxing and MMA,” Murray told BBC.com. “It’s an incredible story, Claressa is a superstar and fans will get to see how far she can go in two sports at the highest level.”
Shields made her promotional debut in June of last year. She defeated Brittney Elkin by third-round TKO. She followed that up with another bout in October, this time she was beaten by Abigail Montes vis split division. Shields has the standup skills of a champion, but she needs to keep working on her ground skills. Despite this fact, Shields has high aspirations to keep competing at the highest level in both boxing and MMA.
“She transcends combat sports, both boxing, and MMA,” said Murray. “Will she be a two-sport champion? That’s the story and it’s an opportunity to see her develop. That’s what the PFL is providing fans and Claressa is very humbly putting it all out there.”
Shields is one of the most famous female boxers today. She has the support of many high-class fighters both in boxing and MMA. She recently had a high compliment from UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and has trained with Cris Cyborg in the past. She has also been on the radar of Jake Paul, the two have been feuding about a rumor that Shields asked to be placed on Paul’s undercard.
The PFL 2022 season is set to kick off in April, with a Challenger series beginning in February. As of now, there is no confirmation on whether Shields will compete in a 2022 tournament or if she will compete in non-tournament bouts as she did in 2021.
Do you think Claressa Sheilds has what it takes to become a champion in MMA?
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