Shields Serious About Becoming MMA Star
Unified women’s middleweight boxing champion Claressa Shields is serious about becoming a two-sport star according to her promoter Dmitry Salita.
Shields is set to challenge for a third boxing title when she faces Ivana Habazin this weekend. However, she has made no secret of her intentions to venture into mixed martial arts with talk of a potential fight with UFC two-weight champion Amanda Nunes.
She has even claimed she will begin training in MMA this year and plans to have her first fight before the end of 2020. That only serves to show that Shields is not just doing this for attention.
“Claressa wants to be a two-sport star,” Salita told MMA Fighting. “In between fights, she did do some training, wrestling training, and some UFC-type training. Obviously, boxing is her domain, but Claressa has said she’d do a fight in boxing and a fight in the UFC with Amanda.
“It would obviously take time for Claressa to develop and get better in that sport. I think what makes it so attractive is that Amanda Nunes is a striker. Most of her significant wins have been because of her striking ability, her power and her precision, and her ability to figure out situations and land the big power punch. That’s why this is such an intriguing matchup.”
Most would say it’s not the best idea for a boxer to enter the world of mixed martial arts. Just ask James Toney who was easily defeated by Randy Couture.
However, Salita believes there is something special about Shields and her dedication to training that will allow her to fare much better.
“Claressa is a two-time Olympic gold medalist,” Salita added. “She’s the undisputed middleweight world champion, unified undisputed middleweight world champion. She’s going to fight for a third division world title against Ivana Habazin on Showtime, and if she wins, she’s going to be the fastest fighter in the history of the sport — man or woman — to win three division titles in under 11 fights.
“So obviously, Claressa takes her career very seriously. She’s very dedicated to her training. She’s dedicated to being the best. She is very serious is about being undefeated in the boxing ring, and when the time comes in the Octagon, or whatever domain the MMA fights happen in, she wants to be a two-sport star.”
We just might find out if that will be the case this year.