Hear from Claressa Shields following her successful MMA debut at PFL 4
Claressa Shields can now say she holds victories in two combat sports, as the women’s boxing world champion came away with a victory in her first MMA bout, defeating Brittney Elkin in the main event of PFL 4.
“I feel like I am dreaming; this is crazy! You know, after doing this training at JacksonWink Gym, I kept asking myself, ‘What if part of me don’t feel like [I can do it]?’ I kept telling myself, ‘It’s going to be hard…This is going to be hard, and do not expect the easy win.’ Every time I sat down in the corner, I said, ‘Damn! I lost another round!’”
“Came the third round, Coach said, ‘Do not get taken down.’ But it’s like, she had me on the ground, but never could she hurt me. Her punches didn’t hurt me. She tried to give me an armbar, it didn’t hurt me. Nothing. And when I tell you that third round came, I said ‘I’m about to just dog her.’ And I did. I went crazy after that. I may have lost these two rounds, but I am not losing.”
Claressa Shields attributed comeback win over Brittney Elkin in part to a never-say-die attitude
Shields was taken down early in the first round and struggled, with Elkin nearly locking in an armbar. Elkin took her down and dominated again in the second, but Shields got to counter and get on top late in the second round, landing some devastating punches.
Shields then managed to stuff a takedown and continue her ground-and-pound in the third round en route to a comeback TKO.
Shields, who won gold medals in boxing at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, has collected 10 championship titles, achieving undisputed champion status at both middleweight and light-middleweight in her nearly five-year pro boxing career.
“I never doubted myself winning a boxing match in my life. MMA was like, I might lose this first round. I don’t want to lose and I was doing my best not to lose. I had this never quit attitude every round. ‘Whatever she do — I don’t care if she gets you in an armbar, I don’t care if she gets you in a triangle, do not quit. Never give up. That’s what I told myself. When my coaches said ‘Let her up,’ I said, ‘Hell no!’”