Claressa Shields, the No. 1 pound-for-pound female boxer, announces her return to MMA with a multi-year deal for the PFL. Read about her goals and achievements.
Claressa Shields, the renowned pound-for-pound female boxer, has announced her return to MMA in 2024. In a joint statement, Shields and the Professional Fighters League (PFL) revealed that she has signed a new ‘multi-year’ deal to compete in MMA. This move comes after Shields made her debut in the PFL in 2021, where she had a mixed record of 1-1 in two appearances.
Shields expressed her excitement about returning to a fighter-first organization and specifically mentioned her anticipation of stepping back into the PFL SmartCage. She stated, ‘My goal remains unchanged. 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.’ The exact terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
In her MMA debut, Shields showcased her versatility by securing a TKO victory. She followed her opponent to the ground and finished her with strikes. However, in her second appearance, Shields suffered a split decision loss. Despite these setbacks, Shields quickly returned to the boxing ring and successfully defended her middleweight titles three times within a span of 16 months.
ESPN currently ranks Shields as the best female boxer in the world, with an undefeated record of 14-0 and 2 knockouts. The PFL, known for its regular season and playoffs format, has been actively signing both traditional and non-traditional talent in recent years. This includes notable names like Francis Ngannou and Jake Paul. PFL President Ray Sefo has also confirmed ongoing discussions regarding a potential merger or acquisition of Bellator MMA.
PFL CEO Peter Murray expressed his delight in re-signing Shields, hailing her as the most dominant women’s boxer globally. He emphasized the shared values of the PFL and Shields, highlighting their fighter-first approach and their determination to take on the world. The PFL is currently expanding into the pay-per-view market.
|Claressa Shields vs. Opponent 1||Win (TKO)|
|Claressa Shields vs. Opponent 2||Loss (Split Decision)|
- Claressa Shields signs a new ‘multi-year’ deal to compete in MMA for the PFL.
- Shields aims to become the first athlete to hold championships in both boxing and MMA simultaneously.
- Shields won her MMA debut by TKO and suffered a split decision loss in her second appearance.
- ESPN ranks Shields as the best female boxer in the world.
- The PFL is actively signing talent and exploring a potential merger or acquisition of Bellator MMA.