2012 and 2016 Olympic gold medalist and three-division professional boxing champion, Claressa Shields signed with MMA promotion PFL (Professional Fighters League) earlier this week and now she has already started training.
She will be making her debut in 2021 and she is currently training at Jacksonwink MMA gym in Alburquerque, New Mexico. She is training alongside UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
Shields who is the current WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO middleweight champion has expressed interest in fighting inside the cage for quite some time now. She attended UFC 245, where UFC bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes successfully defended her title against Germaine De Randamie.
“I’m starting my training this year, 2020,” Shields told BJPENN.com. “I’ve been able to catch on to things very fast, learn and I’ve had some great people who have reached out to me. I’ll be going to camp with Jon Jones, I believe, at the end of February just to see if I can get into the whole training thing and do what he does because he’s so great. I’m looking forward to it.”
Speaking to The Athletic, she revealed that she wants to be fully prepared for her MMA debut.
“My boxing is going to be my main thing, of course. But if I get on the ground I don’t want it to be like, “hey, the fight’s over.” I just want to be prepared. I’m going to learn everything step by step. I want to learn different things and mix them all together.” Claressa Shields said.
Claressa Shields says Boxing is a sexist sport
While women’s MMA is pretty big, women’s boxing hasn’t received the same type of attention as men’s boxing and as a result, even a two-time Olympic champion like Claressa Shields has had to make a transition to MMA.
“Boxing is sexist. I don’t care, it is. It’s sexist. There is no way that I haven’t had a fight since January of 2020, was scheduled to fight in May, promised to fight in September, had a fight scheduled for December, and then it all got canceled or whatever the case may be. It’s sexist. And even though I’m the most popping woman fighter, I’m still put on a back burner to men who haven’t accomplished anything close to what I’ve accomplished. It’s a sexist sport. It’s sexist with the opportunities we’re given. It’s sexist with the TV time. It’s sexist with how much we get paid. All three,” Claressa Shields concluded. (H/T – The Athletic)