PFL 4 is now in the books, as the tournament for the organizations featherweights and lightweights moves one step closer to the coveted prize of 1 million dollars. However, it was the main event that stole the show as the boxing G.W.O.A.T and 2 time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields pulled off a victory in her professional debut.
Shields faced off against MMA veteran and BJJ brown belt Brittney Elkin as she was looking to maintain her undefeated record in combat sports. In the first two rounds, we witnessed Elkin utilize her takedown offence as well as use her opponent’s lack of experience to secure the first 2 rounds of the fight, Claressa had the clear advantage on the feet as we saw Elkin try and smother the boxing champion as frequently as she could while looking for an opening to secure an armbar or a mounted triangle as Clarressa was clearly swimming in waters that she had never experienced before.
Throughout the fight, we saw the former boxer fight with tenacity and viciousness that kept her in the fight, so much so that in the final seconds of the 2nd round Claressa ended the fight on top with ground and pound that left Elkin in a daze. Shields cardio was on full display as she was able to stuff a takedown in the 3rd round which saw her drop some vicious ground and pound that forced the referee to step in, Shields was overcome with joy and emotions as she expressed that this was the hardest training camp of her life, as she has never been more uncomfortable and in pain from her MMA training at camp Jackson Wink.
While her debut may have been far from flawless, it is safe to say that with more training and focus on her ground game, we could be seeing a new potential challenger in women’s MMA. No comment has been made yet as to what her next step will be Shields expressed the need to recover from training as well as spending time with her family.