Boxing star Claressa Shields made a successful debut in mixed martial arts with a TKO win at PFL 4 last night.
There was a whole lot of speculation heading into last night’s event with regards to how Shields would look at this level. Some felt as if she’d blow through Brittney Elkin, who was 3-6 coming into the fight, but others recognised that having nine fights more than your opponent in MMA is always going to serve as a helping hand – even with a 3-6 record.
In the end, though, Shields was able to overcome some adversity and wound up securing a third round TKO to get her off to a winning start on this new combat sports journey.
MMA debut ✅@Claressashields earned the third-round TKO victory at #2021PFL4 pic.twitter.com/U1DZZsKctq
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) June 11, 2021
She may have some work to do in the grappling department but her ground and pound efficiency was clear for all to see – and it could serve as a really intriguing part of her game moving forward.
Shields will be quite the attraction fighter for the next year or two of her career but after that, you’d imagine the aim will be for PFL to elevate her to that next level. Whether or not that means a showdown with Kayla Harrison down the road, though, remains to be seen.
She wasn’t the only person to stand out last night, however, with a mixture of fun decisions and intriguing finishes for fans to enjoy. Brendan Loughnane, Bubba Jenkins and Clay Collard all picked up decision victories whereas Loik Radzhabov, Sheymon Moraes and Chris Wade picked up the other finishes on what was yet another successful evening for the Professional Fighters League.
Did you enjoy Claressa Shields’ debut and if so, how far do you think she can go in MMA? Let us know your thoughts on what proved to be another fun night of PFL action below, BJPENN Nation!