MMA News

Pros react to Claressa Shields pulling off comeback

See how fellow fighters reacted to the MMA debut of Claressa Shields, who defeated Brittney Elkin at PFL 4

While the Professional Fighters League (PFL) ventured on with its 2021 season, most of the focus of PFL 4 surrounded the MMA debut of women’s boxing world champion Claressa Shields.

Shields, who is the only American boxer to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals, turned pro in 2016, and she has since won world championships across three different weight classes. After becoming an undisputed middleweight champion in 2019, Shields dropped to light middleweight and won the undisputed title in that division earlier this year.

Elkin entered this fight 3-6 in her professional MMA career, having not fought since suffering a TKO loss via injury in January 2019 against Bobbi-Jo Dalziel. Elkin was also the first opponent for Kayla Harrison when the judo gold medalist made her pro-MMA debut with the PFL in 2018. Harrison won via first-round submission.

Fighters react to boxing great Claressa Shields scoring a comeback win in her professional MMA debut

After a bit of feeling out, Elkin managed to land a takedown on Shields. Shields was able to reverse positioning but quickly found herself back on the bottom, with Elkin taking full mount by the midway point of the first round. Elkin nearly locked in an armbar in the first round’s final minute, and while she didn’t get it, she landed some brutal ground-and-pound.

Back on the feet to start the second, Shields landed a couple of heavy right hands and stuffed an Elkin takedown attempt. Elkin, however, reversed the position and got into side control and troubled Shields by dominating from top for most of the round. Elkin, however, lost an armbar in the final 30 seconds of the round, allowing for Shields to land some hard shots from top before the bell.

Elkin went for the takedown almost right away in the third round, but Shields stuffed and went to work, landing a barrage of punches from the top for nearly two minutes until the fight was stopped.

See how fighters reacted to Shields’ victory:

PFL 4 took place on Thursday, June 10, 2021, live from Atlantic City, NJ. Follow along with FanSided for all your live news and highlights.

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