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Watch: Jon Jones surprises Claressa Shields during wrestling training ahead of her MMA debut

Claressa Shields (left); Jon Jones (right)
Claressa Shields (left); Jon Jones (right)
Johny Payne
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 30 Apr 2021
News

Jon Jones surprised Claressa Shields during Shields’ wrestling training session ahead of her highly awaited MMA debut.

A longtime member of the Jackson Wink MMA Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Jon Jones has previously confirmed that Claressa Shields is undergoing MMA training at the Jackson Wink facility. MMA legend Jon Jones and boxing legend Claressa Shields have both directed words of high praise towards one another during the time they’ve trained together.

Claressa Shields has time and again asserted her gratitude for her teammates at Jackson Wink, including Jon Jones, who’ve helped improve her MMA skills.

Shields’ recent update on her official YouTube channel features her undergoing wrestling training. She was paid a surprise visit during this training session by Jones. Fans can watch the interaction between the MMA icon and the boxing stalwart in the video embedded below –

Claressa Shields is widely regarded as one of the best boxers, amateur or professional, to have ever competed in the sport. Shields won Olympic gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics in the middleweight division. Following a tremendously successful career in the realm of amateur boxing, Shields entered the world of professional boxing and replicated her success in this realm as well.

‘T-Rex’ has competed in three separate weight classes as a professional boxer, earning multiple world titles across these weight classes. Claressa Shields’ most recent professional boxing match was a unanimous decision win over Marie-Eve Dicaire on March 5th, 2021.

The fight witnessed Shields retain the WBC and WBO female light middleweight titles and win the IBF, WBA (Super), and The Ring female light middleweight titles.

On the other hand, Jon Jones’ most recent fight was a unanimous decision win over Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 on February 8th, 2021. The fight saw Jones retain his UFC light heavyweight title. ‘Bones’ later vacated the belt in August 2020 and is expected to make his heavyweight debut later this year.

Claressa Shields and Jon Jones have interesting challenges ahead of them in 2021:

Francis Ngannou (left); Jon Jones (right)
Francis Ngannou (left); Jon Jones (right)

Claressa Shields is one of the few top-tier athletes who’ve chosen to risk transitioning from their sport to the sport of MMA. Shields – akin to legendary former boxer and kickboxer, ex-UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm – looks to utilize her elite striking skills and growing overall MMA skills in a bid to become an MMA world champion.

Several questions regarding Claressa Shields’ overall MMA skills are likely to be answered when she makes her MMA debut in a lightweight bout against Brittney Elkin at PFL 4 on June 10th, 2021.

Meanwhile, Jon Jones’ first fight at heavyweight is expected to be a UFC heavyweight title fight against the division’s reigning champion Francis Ngannou. 'Bones' and the UFC are currently involved in a dispute over his remuneration for the fight, due to which the bout hasn’t been booked yet.

Published 30 Apr 2021
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