Claressa Shields forayed into the cage to emerge victorious in her debut in the PFL's most recent event. Overcoming Brittney Elkin, Shields etched her name in MMA and boxing folklore as she managed to pull off an astounding victory.
While she may reign supreme when throwing punches, she walked into this fight as a novice as far as the ground game is concerned.
Claressa Shields with her back on the canvas
Shields' dream debut in mixed martial arts started on the wrong foot. She suffered greatly in the initial rounds, spending most of the time absorbing shots on the canvas.
However, she later admitted that although Brittney Elkin was trying to hurt her, it was all for naught.
"She [Elkin] had me on the ground, but she couldn't hurt me," Shields said. "Her punches didn't hurt me. She tried to get me in me an armbar and that didn't hurt me."
While Elkin dominated on the mat, Shields was the one who dropped a series of deadly combinations time and time again.
The two-time Olympic gold medallist started the second round rather strongly. With the fight ensuing on the feet, Claressa Shields was offered the perfect opportunity to flaunt her striking prowess.
The winds of change blow in favor of Claressa Shields
The third round saw Brittney Elkin gassing out even though she had dominated on the mat. Shields, on the other hand, in addition to her pugilistic edge, had yet another massive weapon at her disposal: cardio.
Claressa Shields capitalized on the same by trying to take Brittney Elkin down. However, a failed attempt at a takedown found Shields on top of Elkin.
The debutant proceeded to let loose and drop heavy shots. Although her coaches told her to find her feet, Shields rained down on Elkin until she earned a TKO.
"I feel like I am dreaming," Shields said in her postfight interview. "This is crazy."
In the wake of her glorious debut in MMA at PFL 4, it's safe to say that Claressa Shields is on her way to earning widespread acclaim and success. While her journey has just begun, she displayed a spark of greatness that is rarely replicated.
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