Boxing Legend Claressa Shields Sets Date For Next MMA Fight

Claressa Shields

Photo: Getty Images

Throughout her career, Claressa Shields has broken down barriers, set trends and made history. She is the first American boxer to win two gold medals at the Summer Olympic Games and the first boxer to hold undisputed titles in two different weight classes simultaneously. Now, she is setting her sights on another major milestone—becoming a champion in mixed martial arts.

The next step on Shields' journey is scheduled for October 27. She will step into the octagon and fight Abigail Montes of Mexico. Much like Shields, Montes is fairly new to the sport. She has two wins in Combate Americas and iKon Fighting Federations. Still, Shields is expected to enter the fight as a major fight.

The two-time gold medalist is coming off of a submission win against Brittney Elkin in her pro MMA debut on June 10 in Miami. While she was able to come back in the third round, Elkin was able to control Shields on the ground during the first two rounds. After the fight, Shields said she was happy to win her first fight, but she is looking to improve for her second fight.

"I'm always in training. I'm always working," Shields told ESPN.

"It's really just focusing on learning everything and becoming an MMA fighter. So back to the jiu-jitsu, back to the wrestling, back to the ground-and-pound -- there's so much work I have to put in."

After her first fight, detractors have questioned Shields' ability to transition into MMA after spending her entire life boxing. However, Shields feels that her experience in boxing is a positive, not a negative.

"We don't just forget about my boxing," Shields added.

"We add everything to my boxing because that's my strongest point. I know what I'm doing on the ground, I know what I'm doing standing up, of course, and I know how to get out of those dangerous positions and what to do even if I can't figure out completely how to get up -- to try to avoid those armbars and those triangles. That's been the biggest thing so far."

Shields-Montes is set for the main card of the Professional Fighters League Championships on October 27 with ESPN broadcasting.

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