Claressa Shields vs Brittney Elkin has officially been booked for June 10th. Olympic gold medalist Shields will make her long-awaited MMA debut with the Professional Fighters League, but the fight will not be a part of the PFL’s season-long competition.
The 26 year old officially signed a three fight contract with PFL last November. In an interview on Tuesday’s episode of Good Morning America, Shields announced her official debut date while also shedding light on the sexism issue within the sport.
Claressa Shields vs Brittney Elkin feels like a good way to get the former boxer’s feet wet in the sport. Elkin has a record of 3-6 and is in the midst of a three-fight losing streak, which includes a submission loss to Kayla Harrison. We’ve seen athletes make the transition to MMA in the past and they often times get fed to the dogs. So, credit to the PFL for taking a measured approach with someone as star-powered as Shields.
Shields Is Already Very Accomplished
Prior to turning pro in 2016, Shields racked up gold medals at the Olympics, the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships, and the Pan American Games. Astonishingly, she became the first American boxer (male or female) to ever bring home consecutive Olympic medals. Over the course of roughly five years, Shields accumulated 77 victories with just a single defeat to Savannah Marshall. However, their paths crossing again is likely, to say the least.
Since making her pro boxing debut, the superstar has yet to be beaten amassing a record of 11-0. Remarkably yet again, Shields is the lone boxer (male or female) to simultaneously hold all four major world boxing titles in two weight classes. All of these accomplishments have built up extreme hype within the MMA community since she signed with PFL late last year.
Shields has been preparing for her debut by training at JacksonWink MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico alongside the likes of Holly Holm and Jon Jones. Head coach Gregory Jackson says, “The sky is the limit,” for Shields. The second she steps into the cage, she’ll be the most accomplished boxer to ever make the transition to MMA, but she knows as well as any that rounding out the other martial arts is pivotal to her success.
Claressa Shields vs Brittney Elkin Set for the June 10th PFL Card
Claressa Shields vs Brittney Elkin is set to take place in Atlantic City, New Jersey as a part of the PFL Regular Season: Lightweights & Featherweights event. Again, note that Shields will not be eligible to be included in the PFL regular-season competition. Her MMA debut will be a standalone bout, but that does not take away from the importance of her getting a win on June 10th. The pressure that rests on her shoulders derives from the immense talent that she possesses. Like Coach Jackson said, “The sky is the limit,” for Shields.
Aside from fighting, credit goes to her determination in standing up for the discrepancy in pay between men and women in combat sports. At just 26 years old, Shields has already proven to be dedicated to leaving behind a legacy that spans beyond fighting. There’s no doubt that she will be a massive addition to the world of mixed martial arts.
How do you see Claressa Shields vs Brittney Elkin playing out? How will she fare once she steps inside the cage for the first time? Leave your thoughts in the comment section!
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