Claressa Shields is the first female to compete in a major MMA promotion, while simultaneously doing boxing at a high level. However she says that this will be coming to an end soon, as she plans to put all of her focus into MMA.
When she signed to the PFL, Shields was an undefeated boxing world champion with an 11-0 record. This made her debut, which she won by third round TKO, something well worth watching.
Speaking in a recent interview, the 26-year old explained that she expects to make her sophomore outing in MMA in the fall, and box again before the end of the year. However she also revealed that within around 18 months, she plans to stop boxing and put all of her focus into MMA.
“You can expect to see me again inside the cage, I believe its sometime in August or September, and then (boxing) is the end of the year,” Shields said.
“There’s only a few more girls I want to fight in boxing, so hopefully I can get the fights that I want in boxing and I can get the pay, and as soon as that’s done I’ll probably be full-time MMA, probably by the end of next year. It depends on if I can get these girls that I want…
“I’m trying to be a boxing world champ at the same time as being an MMA world champ,” Shields added. “So I’m not giving up boxing because all my belts are here, and I’m adding MMA. I want to add the world championship from MMA, and I want to do it at the same time.”
Claressa Shields Says MMA Is Harder Than Boxing
There has always been a debate on which sport is more difficult between boxing and MMA. Claressa Shields is here to answer that very question, and to little surprise, she says that MMA is more difficult.
She explained that having to work the variety of different areas needed in MMA makes things more difficult in the training room. However this is also what she loves about the sport, and why she is so invested in it.
“I’m sorry boxing, but MMA training is way harder than boxing training. It is, because there’s so many different mixed martial arts,” Shields said.
“I’ve been boxing for 15 years, and I’m one of those boxers who don’t smoke and don’t drink, so I’m in the best shape of my life. But it’s like in boxing, you have strength and conditioning, you have bag work, you have pads, it’s like repetition, you have sparring.
“But in MMA, I was training five times a day to get ready for this last fight,” Shields continued. “I’m doing Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, pads, knowing codes for the boxing and kickboxing, and adding on to my strength and conditioning because I love to be in shape. To go from fighting two minutes in boxing, a round, to now you’re fighting five minutes a round, you have to be mentally prepared for that.
“MMA training is a lot harder. Even in sparring, it may not be the punches that hurt you. Somebody can take you down and you’ll be walking around with a limp. Somebody can kick can kick you and you have all these lumps on your legs. I got cut on my nose a little bit before the fight, it was because a girl kicked me. It wasn’t even her kick that hurt, it was her toenail that cut my face. MMA training is a lot harder.”
It will be interesting to see how far Claressa Shields can take her MMA career, and if she can reach her goal of holding belts in both sports simultaneously. She is certainly a good addition to the PFL roster.