PFL books Claressa Shields – Abigail Montes

The greatest female boxer in the world has her next PFL fight set. Today, the promotion announced that Claressa Shields (1-0) will be returning to the cage this fall. Shields will be taking on Abigail Montes (2-0) in her next matchup.

The two ladies will square off at the PFL Championship event that is scheduled for Wednesday, October 27th. Shields will be making her second appearance for PFL and she’s hoping for an easier outing this time around.

That said, she’s not getting an easy fight in her next matchup. Abigail Montes is very young in her career just like Shields is. Montes just competed in her second professional MMA fight back in April when she got a TKO victory.

This will be her first fight with PFL. In her two wins thus far, Montes has shown good ground skills and some pretty decent kickboxing. Granted, competition needs to be taken into consideration here.

Second PFL appearance for ‘The GWOAT’

When Shields makes the walk on October 27th, it will be her third combat sports event of the year in 2021. Back in March, Shields defeated Mare Eve Dicaire by unanimous decision to win another world title in boxing.

After that victory, Shields shifted her focus towards her MMA debut with PFL. Shields made her debut back in June when she took on Brittney Elkin. Elkin entered the contest at just 3-6 professionally. However, Elkin was big and she had a jiu jitsu brown belt.

The first two rounds really showed Shields’ inexperience. While Shields had a couple of moments of success on the feet, Elkin was able to get the fight to the ground and control her at PFL 4.

In the third round, Shields was going to need a finish and that’s what she got. After hurting Elkin on the feet, Shields was able to stuff a takedown and she ended up on top. Once on top, Shields rained down punches and elbows to get the finish.

You have to imagine that Shields has been continuously working on her ground skills and takedown defense leading into this next PFL matchup. If she can keep a fight standing, there’s virtually no woman in the world that can beat her. However, she’s got her work cut out for her in terms of keeping it standing.

PFL: Claressa Shields second fight date is set

Arguably the greatest female boxer of all time has her second date under the PFL banner. The ‘GWOAT’ Claressa Shields (1-0) will be competing in her second professional MMA contest on August 27th.

The news was first reported yesterday by Ariel Helwani who confirmed with PFL officials. August 27th will also play host to the women’s lightweight playoffs. We will likely see fellow Olympic Gold Medalist Kayla Harrison on the same card as Shields.

At this time, PFL has not announced who Shields will be taking on in August. She made her professional mixed martial arts debut a couple of weeks ago at PFL 4 and she’s looking to get right back in there.

While Shields has said that she will continue to box along with competing in MMA, she’s not going back to boxing just yet. Based on the performance at PFL 4, I think Shields realizes that there is a lot of work to be done in the cage.

Expectations for Shields’ next PFL Fight

In her first fight at PFL 4, Shields took on Brittney Elkin (3-7), Elkin didn’t have the prettiest record, but she was a jiu jitsu brown belt and she was bigger that Shields. In the first two rounds, it was very clear that Shields was inexperienced on the ground.

Elkin was able to get dominant positions in both of the first two rounds. You could tell how dangerous Shields is with her hands by watching their brief striking exchanges, but that was washed out by her inexperience on the ground.

However, in the third round at PFL 4, Shields was able to rock Elkin bad on the feet. She sprawled well in defending a takedown and got top position. Once there, she rained down massive shots and picked up the come from behind TKO win in her MMA debut.

It was a great moment for Shields and it was a big learning opportunity. In my opinion, I think PFL is going to give her potentially someone even easier for her second fight. The promotion is betting big on Shields and she was dangerously close to losing her first fight.

If I was thinking about this from a business perspective, I would book her against someone she’s likely to have a highlight reel knockout against. Give her a ton of confidence while she continues to build her skills. I’ll be very interested to see how PFL books her.

PFL 4 Recap: Claressa Shields survives early onslaught to score third round TKO

Tonight at PFL 4, Claressa Shields (0-0) made her highly anticipated MMA debut. Arguably the greatest female boxer of all time took to the cage to take on 12-year MMA veteran Brittney Elkin (3-6).

In the first round at PFL 4, Shields immediately took the center and looked for her right hand. However, Brittney Elkin went for the takedown as soon as she could. Elkin was able to land the takedown, but Shields did a good job of getting up to her feet.

Shields was actually able to reverse the position and land good shots. However, Elkin was able to immediately get back to the top position and she was able to work her way to the mount. Elkin, a jiu jitsu brown belt, held the mount but couldn’t mount a ton of offense.

In the final minute of the first round at PFL 4,. Elkin did some damage from the mount, but couldn’t finish the fight. In the second round, Shields started the round extremely well. She landed some bombs on Elkin and looked like she hurt Elkin which forced a sloppy shot.

Shields followed Elkin to the ground and she was immediately put on her back. It was very evident at PFL 4 that Shields was showing a ton of inexperience on the ground. Elkin moved right to the mount as soon as she got the top position.

The rest of the second round featured Elkin dominating from the mount position. Shields did show some good defense in escaping an arm bar just at the end of the second round and she landed bombs in the final seconds of the round.

In the third round, Shields completely turned things around. She defended a takedown beautifully and was able to get top position on Brittney Elkin. Shields rained down bombs and scored the TKO win in her MMA debut at PFL 4.

Clay Collard picks up second win of 2021

In the co-main event, Clay Collard (19-9, 1 NC) returned to take on Joilton Lutterbach (35-9, 1 NC). Back at PFL 1, Collard spoiled the debut of former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis. On the heels of his successful year in professional boxing, Collard rode that momentum into PFL 1.

However, tonight was a different story. From the first round, you could tell that Lutterbach was going to be a challenge for Collard. It took Collard a while to get comfortable and throughout the night he would try striking blitzes to throw off Lutterbach.

However, every time he did that, he would get taken down. The fight ultimately came down to the grappling of Lutterbach versus the striking of Collard. The third round was the decisive round  of the fight. Collard landed bigger shots, but Lutterbach landed takedowns. Ultimately, two of the judges at PFL 4 gave the fight to Clay Collard.

Other PFL 4 Main Card Results

The action was great from start to finish at PFL 4. With the main card on ESPN2, all of the fights delivered. In the first fight on the main card Natan Schulte (21-4-1) took on Alex Martinez (8-1, 1 NC). Martinez was originally supposed to fight Anthony Pettis, however, Pettis pulled out yesterday due to an illness.

It was a very close fight this evening and Martinez had some big moments. However, the takedowns proved to be the difference as Natan Schulte won a split decision. A big bounce back win for the former PFL champion who lost in his opening fight in 2021.

Fresh off of defeating Lance Palmer, Bubba Jenkins (16-4) returned to take on Bobby Moffett (13-6, 1 NC). Jenkins controlled the first part of the fight, but Moffett proved to be extremely tough. Moffett poured it on in the third round, but ultimately it wasn’t enough to sway the judges and Jenkins picked up the win.

Brendan Loughnane (21-3) and Tyler Diamond (12-2) put on an incredible fight at PFL 4. Both men left everything they had in the cage, but Loughnane won a decision and clinched a spot in the PFL featherweight playoffs. It was an incredible night of fights for the Professional Fight League overall.

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

PFL 4 matchups announced: Anthony Pettis looks to bounce back against Alex Martinez

PFL has announced the card for their fourth event of 2021. The Pro Fight League posted on their official Twitter page today the matchups for the next round of the lightweight and featherweight seasons.

The fourth PFL event is going to take place on June 10th. In the main event, Claressa Shields will be making her MMA debut when she takes on Brittney Elkin (3-6). Shields is the best P4P boxer in the world and she’s a former Olympic Gold Medalist.

There will obviously be a lot of hype surrounding her PFL debut. In terms of the 2021 season, a lot of eyes are going to be on Anthony “Showtime” Pettis (24-11). Pettis will be taking on Alex Martinez (8-0, 1 NC) in the co-main event of the evening.

Showtime made his PFL debut just a few weeks ago. Pettis was a big signing for the Pro Fight League and they put him up against the popular Clay Collard (19-8, 1 NC) in his first matchup.

The former UFC lightweight champion was hurt multiple times throughout the first two rounds. However, Pettis was able to rally late and almost pulled off the victory. But, in the end, Collard got the win and spoiled the PFL debut for Pettis.

PFL 4

That night, Alex Martinez defeated Loik Radzhabov by split decision. This fight against Pettis at PFL 4 is the biggest fight in Martinez’s young career. This is also a huge fight for the former world champion.

If Pettis falls to Alex Martinez, it will raise a lot of questions about what’s left in the tank. The man who defeated Pettis back at PFL 1 is ready to get back to his winning ways. Clay Collard will be taking on Joilton Lutterbach (34-9).

Lutterbach lost his first fight by split decision and he’s looking to bounce back against Collard at PFL 4. To view the full list of matchups that were announced, see the PFL tweet below.

Claressa Shields PFL debut is set

The best female boxer in the world is set for her MMA debut in PFL. Claressa Shields (11-0 boxing) has a date for her debut in mixed martial arts. It was announced on Good Morning America that Shields will make her debut with PFL on June 10th.

At this time, the promotion hasn’t announced an opponent for the boxing superstar. At the end of November last year, PFL made waves when they announced that they had agreed to a deal with Claressa Shields. 

Shields is ranked number one pound for pound in women’s boxing. She’s also a two-time Gold Medalist in the Olympics. Simply put, she’s the absolute best that boxing has to offer.

Shields had expressed interest in potentially crossing over to MMA over the last couple of years. She even attended UFC events, but nothing serious materialized until late in the year last year when PFL offered her a deal.

The deal allows Shields to compete in MMA under PFL as well as continue her boxing career. Shields last boxed last month. She defeated the previously unbeaten Marie Eve Dicaire by unanimous decision to win two more super welter world titles in boxing.

What to expect from Shield’s PFL debut

After it was announced that PFL had signed Shields, she revealed that she would be training under Greg Jackson. Shields is just 26 years old and has plenty of time to develop her MMA skills and she wanted to do it with the best camp.

Friendships with Jon Jones and Holly Holm also played a role in Shields moving to Jackson’s. She was working exclusively at Jackson’s, but went back to her boxing coaches to prepare for the Dicaire fight.

Now, with her MMA debut set, Shields will be spending her time at Jackson’s to prepare. So what should we expect from her PFL debut? I honestly don’t know. However, I do believe that the Pro Fight League will give her a layup of an opponent.

Shields is the type of athlete who wants to be tested, but I expect the promotion to play it slowly here. This will be Shields first MMA match period and she’s doing it on a big stage.

Expect PFL to give her someone that has decent skills but nothing to write home about. It will definitely be interesting to see how the boxing superstar does in her MMA debut and I’m very intrigued by the entire situation.

Sizing up PFL’s women’s lightweight division for the 2021 season

MMA, PFL

The return of PFL is upon us. The Pro Fight League has spent the last week releasing it’s rosters for their upcoming season in 2021. The promotion didn’t hold a season last year due to the ongoing pandemic.

However, with new safety measures in place, PFL is ready to go for their 2021 season. One of the division’s they will spend a lot of time advertising is their women’s lightweight division. Of course, that division is led by Kayla Harrision (8-0).

Harrison is a former Olympic Gold Medalist in Judo and the reigning PFL lightweight champion. Despite the promotion not having a season in 2020, Harrison was still able to get a fight in under the Invicta promotion.

Harrison took on Courtney King in November and completely battered her over two rounds before the fight was stopped. The significance of this matchup was that it took place at featherweight and Harrison made that weight cut for the first time in her MMA career.

We all know that there are future superfights out there for Harrison if she fights at 145 pounds. However, she will return to 155 pounds where she is the champion for PFL‘s upcoming season that begins on April 23rd.

PFL lightweights to watch

You will notice that there is one big name missing from PFL’s upcoming lightweight season. That name would be the pound-for-pound best boxer in the world, Claressa Shields (10-0 in boxing).

PFL made waves when they signed Shields in 2020. As mentioned, Shields is a boxer and hasn’t made her MMA debut yet. Shields is currently scheduled to take on the current female super welterweight champion, Marie Eve Dicaire, on March 5th.

After Shields has that boxing match, her focus will turn to her MMA debut. She’s expected to make her debut later in 2021. In terms of the other lightweights in this tournament, there are two names to watch out for.

One fighter I have my eyes on is Cindy Dandois (16-5). Dandois will be making her PFL debut and she’s carrying a four-fight winning into the ring. She could make some waves in this year’s season.

The other fighter I’m watching for is Larissa Pacheo (13-4). Pacheo has already faced Harrison twice in PFL and fell short both times. She’s a UFC veteran and her four career losses are to Harrison, Germaine de Randamie, and Jessica Andrade. Not a bad group to lose to.

I’m very excited to see PFL back up and running in 2021. They’ve made some big signings and this year should be a lot of fun. I’m very intrigued by this lightweight division and I’m interested to see if anyone can take down Kayla Harrison.

PFL’s biggest stars ready for new season

Professional Fighters League’s reigning champions along with its new big-name signees are all set for its 2021 season.

World champions Kayla Harrison, Lance Palmer, Natan Schulte, and Ray Cooper III will be back to defend their titles in the most innovative and fastest-growing Mixed Martial Arts league on the planet.

The PFL has also added former world champions Rory MacDonald, Fabricio Werdum, Anthony Pettis and boxing icon Claressa Shields and many more world-class fighters in what promises to be its biggest offering yet.

The new PFL season will be aired live on the ESPN family of networks beginning in April.

Innovative format

Since its debut three years ago, the PFL has taken the MMA world by storm. Along with the finest collection of athletes globally, the league has continued to grow its fight-night and in-cage technology through SmartCage and IBM.

PFL fighters will compete in regular-season fights to accumulate points that will determine who will advance to the playoffs. The survivors from six different weight classes will battle it out in an exciting knockout style format in the playoffs. Each champion will be rewarded with a million-dollar paycheck.

Return of the champions

Harrison, a former Olympic gold medalist, Palmer, Schulte, and Cooper III are among the select few who have already run the gauntlet of the PFL and cashed in.

MacDonald is arguably one of the top pound-for-pound fighters of his generation. He took note of the PFL’s innovations and signed with the promotion in 2019. The welterweight fighter will make his debut this year.

In 2020, the PFL roster grew with the additions of such fighters as Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira and Sung Bin Jo. It served as a precursor to the earth-shattering signings of Werdum, Pettis, and Shields.

New stars

Werdum has risen to the top of the heavyweight division on more than one occasion, beating the likes of Fedor Emelianenko and Cain Velasquez along the way.

On the other hand, Pettis is also a former lightweight champion who has also competed at welterweight. His resume includes victories over Benson Henderson, Charles Oliveira, and Donald Cerrone.

Meanwhile, Shields is aiming to become the PFL’s crossover star. She will continue her quest inside the boxing ring while also beginning her career as a mixed martial artist this year. The three-division boxing world champion has been training at the world-famous Jackson-Wink MMA gym in New Mexico in preparation for her much anticipated PFL debut.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

PFL signs boxing’s P4P best, Claressa Shields

PFL made headlines yesterday when it was announced that the promotion had reached a deal with Claressa Shields. MMA Junkie first reported the news. Shields is an two-time Olympic Gold medalist in boxing and is widely considered the pound for pound best in the sport.

The 25 year old phenom is the fastest to get to 10-0 as a professional boxer and she hold multiple belts in multiple weight classes. In boxing, she’s clearly in a league of her own, but she’s ready to challenge herself in the world of MMA.

PFL is no stranger to signing Olympians as arguably their biggest star is two-time gold medalist, Kayla Harrison. Harrison was a gold medalist in Judo and PFL has invested a ton into her.

The transition for Harris was easier than the transition for Shields will be. We’ve seen over and over that the transition from grappling is so much easier than the transition for pure strikers. And that’s what Shields is, a pure striker. Specifically, a pure boxer.

She has no kickboxing or Muay Thai experience and she has no grappling experience. Nevertheless, the 25 year old is willing to challenge herself which is why she signed the deal with PFL. Last year, she voiced her interest in potentially making the jump.

PFL’s next star?

It’s such an interesting move for Shields. It’s a no-brainer if you’re PFL, but Shields is the absolute best in her sport currently. This is not the same thing as Conor McGregor crossing over to boxing for a match with Floyd Mayweather.

It’s so much tougher making the MMA jump. Just ask James Toney how his matchup against Randy Couture went. However, I will say that Shields does have a few things going for her. One, she’s a world class athlete. Two, she’s still very young.

PFL is going to give her the slow build in MMA. My guess is that they will give her very favorable matchups to start things out. Do not expect her to get thrown in with a world class grappler like Kayla Harrison.

Although a matchup between the two might be the long-term play for PFL. At the end of the day, this is a big signing for PFL. Shields can become a superstar and I’m very curious to watch this play out. At the moment, she’s planning on continuing her boxing career while having one-off lightweight MMA matches.