Claressa Shields Plans To Make MMA Debut In 2020
When boxing world champion Claressa Shields challenged Amanda Nunes to boxing contest back in July, she laughed at the suggestion of taking on the UFC bantamweight and featherweight champion in an MMA contest.
Fast forward two months and Shields had warmed to the idea of taking on Nunes in MMA, saying that if Nunes came over to boxing, she would return the respect by going over to MMA to fight her. Now fast forward another month and the two time Olympic gold medalist boxer has stated that she intends to transition to MMA.
A few days ago, Shields took to social media to announce that she was moving to boxing because the boxing world didn’t deserve her.
After hearing of Claressa’s intentions, Bellator president Scott Coker told the Bellator 232 post fight press conference that he’d be happy to welcome her in his promotion. Adding though that they don’t have a her weight class but could sort something.
“We don’t have a fight for her at 160 [pounds], because the top of our weight classes is 145. But if she wants to come down, maybe we can have her compete. Or if some of the girls want to go up and fight, then maybe we could fight her.
“To me, it’s not our core business, fighting at 160 pounds. But, just like with Keri [Melendez] and just like with Ava [Knight], if it makes sense and we [can] put her in some superfights, let’s do it. I’m not afraid to do that.”
On hearing Coker’s comments, Shields responded that 155lbs is as low as she could go.
Following the tweet, Bad Left Hook‘s Michael Woods messaged Shields to ask if she was being serious. To which she replied that she planned to make her MMA debut in September of 2020.
“Yeah, debuting September of next year. I’ve done some wrestling training, going to start my BJJ next month and learn some kicks. So next year September I’ll be ready! The women get more respect over there and money.”
Shields response does pose the question: Why have MMA fans embraced women fighters a lot more than boxing fans have embraced women boxers?
And Shields, the WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO and The Ring female middleweight world champion, may not be the only big name in boxing to make the transition next year. Tyson Fury recently teased that he plans on making his MMA debut next year.
Do you think we’ll see Claressa Shields and Tyson Fury make the transition to MMA in 2020?