Claressa Shields has signed a new “multi-year” contract with the Professional Fighters League (PFL), and still intends to pursue a further career in MMA after going 1-1 in her first two bouts with the organization.
Shields, 28, won her MMA debut in June 2021 against Brittney Elkin, and then lost to Abigail Montes in Oct. 2021.
“My goal remains unchanged,” Shields said in a press release. “I will be the first athlete to hold championships in boxing and MMA simultaneously. I have grown so much since my first MMA fight and cannot wait to put my skills on display.”
Shields (14-0, 2 KO) is currently the undisputed middleweight champion of the world in boxing, but as we’ve said many times, and it’s not a criticism, she is basically out of compelling fights to make in this sport.
She’s simply — and soundly — beaten everyone worth beating from 154 to 168, and outside of a rematch with Savannah Marshall at 168, which could make Claressa a three-division undisputed champion, there just isn’t much left for her, and there is no great crop of young fighters rising the ranks at her weights, either.
Shields has expressed that she’s not interested in going back to the UK, where the fight is much bigger and worth more money, to fight Marshall again, and Marshall doesn’t seem interested in coming to the States to do it.
This past weekend, Shields did kinda slam Shadasia Green’s performance on the Paul vs Diaz card, but said she’d fight Green if the “fans want it.”
A true move to MMA is an uphill battle, but could be done. It would take sincere commitment — basically, she might have to give up on boxing, the way Holly Holm eventually did, if she wants to be a serious champion in the MMA world.