- Claressa Shields announced she had signed with the PFL back in November.
- The former Olympic champion claims she will continue to train and fight in boxing.
- Fans will get to see Claressa Shields in MMA and boxing throughout 2021.
Not long ago, news broke that Claressa Shields had signed a contract with the Professional Fighters League. Shields is known for being one of the best female boxers alive, yet she seems focused on entering into the world of MMA. New reports claim that we’re likely to see Claressa Shields in MMA and boxing in 2021.
It’s rare for a high-level boxer to transition into MMA. We’ve seen it happen a few times over the years, usually with devastating results. Today, we’ll talk about how Shields might fare in her combat sports career next year.
Let’s get into it!
PFL is Set to Resume its Schedule in April of 2021
When most MMA fans think of major promotions, the UFC and Bellator come to mind. These two MMA leagues launched more than a decade ago and have gone on to sign some of the best fighters on the planet. In recent years, however, the Professional Fighters League has also grown extremely popular around the US.
This league had gone through several rebranding processes over the years. It’s also changed up its scheduling format. It notably uses a tournament format offering the winners an incredible $1 million prize.
There are some incredible fighters now competing under the PFL umbrella. The owners of this league have recently worked hard to sign big names in the sport including Rory MacDonald and Kayla Harrison. Not long ago, news surfaced that the PFL signed Fabricio Werdum, as well!
Unfortunately, this promotion has been shut down for nearly all of 2020. Unlike many other US MMA leagues, the PFL hasn’t managed to host any events due to the events unfolding around the world. This has led to several lawsuits from the promotion’s top fighters.
This won’t last forever, though. It’s been confirmed that the PFL is set to begin its 2021 season in April! The promotion is planning something special with more million-dollar tournaments taking place throughout the year. Fans are now excited to see who ends up coming out on top.
The PFL has a fantastic roster of female MMA fighters. That includes one of the best boxers alive today, Claressa Shields!
We’ll See Claressa Shields in MMA and Boxing in 2021
As we already mentioned, it’s rare to see elite boxers make the move into the MMA world. These are two different sports and it takes years to develop a well-rounded skill set. Very few boxers are willing to risk their reputations in this grueling combat sport.
Claressa Shields is a special athlete, though. She now seems focused on her move into MMA and is training hard at the Jackson-Winkeljohn Academy in New Mexico. Shields recently spoke to the media and surprised some by claiming she will continue to compete in boxing during her time in MMA.
“I’m still going to box. With me going to MMA, people would think or they keep kind of saying that I’m retired or something, but I’m not retired from boxing,” she says. “I’m still going to box and the overall goal is to be a world champion in boxing and be a world champion in MMA at the same time… So of course, MMA fighters can go over the boxing and do pretty decent. But I wanted to see, ‘Can a boxer actually go to MMA and take it seriously and do great and do very well at the same time of being a world champion?’”
Many are excited to see what Shields has to offer in MMA. She’s still just 25 years old and has one of the key skills needed to find success in the sport. The former Olympic champion is also training at one of the best mixed martial arts gyms on the planet and has some fantastic coaches willing to evolve her game.
It will be fascinating to see Claressa Shields in MMA and boxing at the same time. Some believe this will actually help her to improve in both sports. She clearly has big aspirations and will bring in a large number of viewers during her first fight with the PFL.
Women’s MMA is growing more exciting every month. We’re seeing a number of high-level prospects signing with big promotions right now and some seem destined to become future champions.
Top WMMA Fighters to Keep an Eye on in 2021
Ronda Rousey helped to put women’s MMA on the map during her run in the UFC. Between 2013 and 2016, she was one of the most-talked-about fighters in the sport. Today, some of the UFC’s biggest stars compete in the female 115, 125, and 135-pound divisions.
There are many exciting female prospects to keep an eye on right now. That includes Kayla Harrison, who recently signed a new deal with Invicta FC. Harrison had a successful featherweight debut back in November and seems poised to sign with the UFC soon.
Hardcore fans are well aware of Kayla and her skills. She is a former Olympic champion in judo and has gone 8-0 thus far in her professional MMA career. It will be fascinating to see her compete with the top 145-pound fighters in the UFC.
Bellator has also recently expanded its female roster. One fighter to keep an eye on is Juliana Velasquez, who recently won the promotion’s flyweight title. Velasquez has some exciting new challengers in the division, including Russian Darina Madzyuk who recently signed her first Bellator contract.
We’re likely to see Claressa Shields in MMA and boxing soon, too. There are high expectations for her in both sports. We’ll be sure to offer updates on her first official fight in mixed martial arts over the next few months!
Are you excited to see Shields step into MMA? Do you think she will find success in this sport? Let us know in the comments section below!