Claressa Shields took the first step in a long journey by winning her MMA debut

Claressa Shields took the first step in a long journey by winning her MMA debut

Claressa Shields is a champion. She has showed that for years in the boxing ring, winning gold medals in two Olympics and becoming a three-division world champion (twice undisputed) in an undefeated professional career. On Thursday night, she showed a different side of her championship mettle by surviving a rough two rounds in her MMA debut before turning the fight her way. She earned a TKO win in the third round of a special showcase featured bout against Brittney Elkin at PFL 4 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Shields is not the first professional boxer to win an MMA bout. She's not even the first in her gym, as she trains as part of the same team in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that is home to Holly Holm, a former boxing champion who went on to win the UFC women's bantamweight championship. But Holm also had a kickboxing background. When Shields walked into JacksonWink MMA seven months ago, she was essentially an empty canvas in her new sport. Shields, the undisputed world champion at junior middleweight and a three-belt champ at …
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