Claressa Shields explains why she signed with PFL over UFC

By Tom Taylor - December 28, 2020

Three-division boxing champion Claressa Shields has explained why she decided to sign with the Professional Fighters League instead of the UFC.

Claressa Shields, Conor McGregor

Shields, one of the best female boxers ever, has been plotting a move to MMA for some time. She’ll finally make that transition in the PFL cage in 2021–contrary to some interest from the UFC.

Speaking to MMA Junkie recently, Shields explained why she chose the PFL over the UFC. The boxer says the UFC really only wanted her for one fight against Amanda Nunes, while the PFL offered her more of an opportunity to develop long-term.

“It was just the conversation,” Shields said. “It wasn’t like ‘Hey, come and train a few months and then fight against the best girl that we have at your weight. I think that’s unfair to me and it’s not giving me enough time to learn. If you’re talking about letting me train for two years and then I’ll fight against the best girl you have. All right, cool. But the conversation with Dana was almost like a one fight deal a little bit.”

“With the PFL, it was ‘Let’s train, let’s start you at this level and work your way up’ and then I’ll have a chance to fight in the PFL tournament in 2022,” Shields continued. “And also I’ll still be able to box, so my boxing career isn’t just over because I’m doing MMA. I actually have a boxing match in February, it just hasn’t been announced yet. I still get to box and I’m not getting rushed. And it’s a lucrative deal and a lucrative conversation where it was a three year deal. It’s not like ‘Hey come over here fight two times and go back to boxing.’ I’m a conqueror and I’m a winner so I want to put myself in a position to always win.”

How do you think Claressa Shields will do in MMA?

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Claressa Shields Professional Fighters League (PFL) UFC