Claressa Shields is officially set to make her mixed martial arts debut. Shields will do so under the Professional Fighters League (PFL) banner, with her first fight to come June 10th and Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City.
“MMA Debut is set,” Shields (11-0, 2KOs in boxing) announced on her verified social media account.
“I’ve fought for the legacy in boxing long enough! I’m ready to make some real money while I go for more legacy. Boxing holla at me when the money is right.”
“There’s not a boxer—male or female—who have accomplished what I have accomplished,” Shields told ABC’s Michael Strahan, the Hall of Fame former defensive end and current GMA anchor who is also a lifelong boxing fan. “It’s astonishing, and there are a lot more changes that need to be done.”
Shields first made the decision to become a two-sport athlete at a time when the sports world was shut down last spring due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Going through the pandemic was a depressing time for me,” admitted Shields. “I wasn’t In the ring. I gained a whole bunch of weight. I’ve accomplished everything in boxing. In my mind, I was like ‘it’s time to try MMA.”
Right now, the time has come to spread her wings and attempt to conquer another sport.
“Be who you want to be,” Shields insisted when asked by Strahan of any advice she has to young women around the world. “Sometimes, they put us in a box and say, “this is what a woman is.” Skinny, petite, you know… straight hair. They put you in this box and it’s so shallow.
“I think people are so used to women being told what to do and not doing what they want to do, that it makes them uncomfortable and feel intimidated. That’s my advice—do you, boo!”