Previewing Claressa Shields’ PFL Debut

Tomorrow night, the greatest women’s boxer in the world will make her PFL debut. Claressa Shields (11-0 boxing, 0-0 MMA) will make her highly anticipated mixed martial arts debut tomorrow night in the headliner of PFL 4.

Shields will be making her debut against Brittney Elkin (3-6). In reality, Claressa Shields is arguably the greatest women’s boxer of all time. She’s a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, and she’s held nine world championships in boxing across two weight divisions.

Simply put, she’s the best. A crazy thing about her is the fact that she’s just 26 years old. Still young in her professional career, Shields decided last year that she wanted to conquer all of combat sports. With that, Shields signed a deal with PFL and will be making her debut tomorrow night.

To show that she’s not taking this lightly, Shields has been training at Jackson-Wink alongside the likes of Jon Jones, Holly Holm, and Michelle Waterson. Shields has leaned on former UFC champion Holly Holm a lot during this transition to MMA and she’s looking for that to pay off at PFL 4.

While the record might not be impressive, Brittney Elkin is a great first test for Claressa Shields. Elkin stands 5’11 and she’s fought in PFL before. She’s also fought in Bellator and shared a cage with the best PFL has to offer in Kayla Harrison.

PFL 4 Preview

PFL 4 is going to be fascinating to see how Shields does in the cage. One thing we know for sure is that Brittney Elkins has no chance to win this fight if they are standing. We don’t see people with the hand skill of Claressa Shields in MMA ever.

The last time we saw someone at this level of boxing crossover was James Toney. However, Toney was far past his prime and he went in there against one of the greatest to ever do it in Randy Couture. Not too mention one of the best grapplers in the history of the heavyweight division.

Of course, Toney was smashed by Couture. I don’t see the same happening to Shields at PFL 4. Shields is young and she’s an incredible athlete. I’m expecting to see some all-around skills from her tomorrow night. I expect her takedown defense to be tested and I also expect some kicks to come her way.

That said, Shields will be able to take advantage of the smallest openings with her hands. I’m expecting something massive to land and I think she’ll get it done in the first round. Expect Claressa Shields to make a statement in her first PFL appearance.

Prediction: Claressa Shields by KO – Round 1

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