Boxing champ Claressa Shields ready for 2020 MMA debut
In the combat sports world, the idea of a two-sport athlete makes things exciting. Conor McGregor flirted with boxing when he fought Floyd Mayweather while Amanda Serrano and Heather Hardy have switched off between boxing and MMA for a while. Another fighter looking to mix it up is Claressa Shields.
A two-time Olympic champion, Shields (9-0) is set to face Ivana Habazin inside the Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. Fighting for the vacant WBC and WBO Light Middleweight Titles, Shields has her focus set on becoming the greatest female fighter of all time. While doing so, she is also focusing on dominating the MMA game.
“We’ve had some conversations about the UFC about this,” Dmitry Salita of Salita Promotions told MMA Fighting. “Claressa’s managed by Mark Taffet, who was the head of HBO pay-per-view, he’s had a relationship with Dana [White]. Claressa wanted to see Amanda Nunes live and pour some more oil on the fire.
During a pre-fight press conference in New York City, Shields discussed updates on her MMA debut. She has been talking to the UFC, Bellator, ONE Championship and the PFL. Kayla Harrison, who just won $1 million at the PFL Finals, will be in attendance at her fight. Shields has called out double champion Amanda Nunes, who just beat Germaine de Randamie back in December. There is a desire to face Nunes both in the ring and the octagon.
Some may scoff at the idea, but Shields has been known to back up her ability on the mic. she told TMZ that Jon Jones himself will help train her, while a number of MMA personalities are on her side. Nunes has ripped on Shields in her attempts to move to another sport, calling it a decision she will regret.
While her focus will be on Habazin in New Jersey, Shields will have a lot on her mind. With a film about her life coming out, a number of other bouts in boxing (to go along with the upcoming one) and MMA training, the pressure is on. The story is an enticing one, something the boxing and MMA world will gladly take advantage of. Will she be ready?
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