Claressa Shields Signs With PFL

Clarressa Shields PFL Logo

  • Boxing world champion Claressa Shields has signed with the PFL.
  • Shields is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-division world boxing champion.
  • According to the report, T-Rex won’t going the PFL’s tournament but will fight in on-off lightweight bouts.

Claressa Shields is making the leap from boxing to mixed martial arts.

According to a report from MMAJunkie, Shields has signed a deal with the mixed martial arts promotion Professional Fighters League on Monday.

The 25-year old Shields is a three-division women’s boxing champion and the reigning undisputed women’s boxing middleweight champion. She has been almost unbeaten in her fighting career, losing just once in the amateurs and is a perfect 10-0 with 2 KOs as a professional.

Shields has been talking about making a move to MMA for quite some time. In September 2019, She mentioned about becoming a two-sport athletes she believed that she could make more money fighting in MMA. At UFC 245, she discussed a potential dual sport fight series against the UFC’s Amanda Nunes and prior to her last boxing bout, she said she wanted to fight in an MMA bout before the end of 2020.

The GWOAT?

Shields is the self-proclaimed GWOAT of women’s sports. The 25-year old from Flint, Michigan is the first American boxer to win consecutive Olympic gold medals, doing so in 2012 and 2016. She was the youngest boxer in the 2012 U.S. boxing team and won gold in the middleweight division. She would return in Rio four years later to win the same event.

In November 2016, Shields turned pro. She won her first world title in her fourth professional bout and won a championship in a second weight class during her sixth professional fight. She became the undisputed women’s middleweight title in 2019 after beating Christina Hammer. Shields is one of three female boxers and eight fighters overall to hold all four major belts in a boxing weight class.

Last January, Shields became the fastest fighter, male or female, in boxing history to win world titles in three different weight classes. Shields accomplished the feat in only her 10th professional bout, capturing the WBC and WBO women’s light middleweight titles with a 10 round unanimous decision win over over Ivana Habazin.

No More Attractive Fights Left

Shields didn’t just clean up her natural weight class, T-Rex has obliterated three divisions in women’s professional boxing. She won the title at 168 pounds, became undisputed at 160, and in her most recent bout, she dominated Ivana Hazabin to win the belts at 154 pounds.

T-Rex was supposed to fight Marie-Eve Dicaire of Canada who is the current IBF women’s light middleweight champion. But that May 9, 2020 fight was cancelled because of the pandemic. Last month, it was reported that Shields and Dicaire would fight in December 11 in the first ever Zuffa promoted boxing event but that did not materialize.

There are no more attractive fights left for Shields even if she has moved from one division to another. The Dicaire fight was there but it was shelved probably because it didn’t generate enough attention. Perhaps the only big fight left for her in boxing is the one against Savannah Marshall, the British fighter who beat her in the amateurs. Marshall won the WBO female middleweight title last October and she has expressed her intention to fight Shields in the pros.

Getting Ready for Amanda Nunes?

But even a fight with Marshall may not generate the kind of money that a potential showdown with UFC double-champion Amanda Nunes would fetch. Last year, Shields talked about making millions in a pay-per-view clash with the Lioness. She even bragged about it being bigger than the Mayweather vs McGregor fight of 2017.

The Nunes fight will have to wait though as Shields acknowledges that she needs to log in meaningful bouts before getting inside the Octagon with Nunes. The PFL would be the perfect venue for her to do that.

The MMAJunkie report says that Shields will not participate in the PFL’s 2021 tournament which runs throughout the year and culminates in a championship event on New Year’s eve. Instead, Shields will be doing one-off lightweight bouts (155 pounds). The report also stated that Shields intends compete in boxing and MMA in 2021.

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Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.