Claressa Shields Open To Fighting Amanda Nunes In Boxing And MMA
Back in July, Claressa Shields called out Amanda Nunes, stating that she would put her to sleep in a boxing contest. Then a couple of weeks later, after she had heard that UFC president Dana White had shown an interest in a fight between arguably the women’s boxing GOAT and women’s MMA GOAT, Shields showed even more interest in taking on Nunes in a boxing match.
Fast forward a few months and Shields has again stated that she would like to box Amanda Nunes. However this time, the boxing world champion also showed an interest in making the switch to MMA.
“I’m a person who believes in being 100% prepared for any situation. So I wouldn’t just jump in ring or the Octagon with Amanda Nunes. That’s me giving her my respect, as far as in, if she were to come to boxing, she needs to put her training in. And if I was to go over there to the Octagon, I would need to put my training in. So it goes both ways.
“I’m still interested in a crossover. If she wants to come over and fight me, I would definitely go back over there (the UFC) and give her the same equal opportunity. That’s just the fighter in me, I like to be fair. I feel like in boxing, it’s taking away some of her utensils. And then in MMA, it’s making me use utensils I’ve never had to use before. So just for that, I would have to get fully prepared for that. And maybe just a year of strictly training on MMA.
“I think people are getting confused because they think I’m talking shit but I’m 24 years old. If I wanted to get in the gym right now, after this fight, and train for a whole year to get ready to make a transformation over to MMA, a lot of those girls would be in trouble.”
There may be one stumbling block however though, Shields states that she couldn’t make featherweight and that she would need to compete at lightweight. A division not very common in women’s MMA. Currently, the UFC don’t have a full women’s roster fighting at 145lbs. So you would think that a women’s lightweight division is a long, long way away.
“I’m not a 145 [lbs] fighter. That’s just the way it is. The lowest I’ve been, since the age of 16, is 152lbs, I’m fighting at 154 in two weeks. That’s the lowest I’ve been in my pro career. I’m really not going to go any lower than that, so I would be fighting at 155 if I was to go to MMA. I’m not dropping to 145.”
The PFL has introduced a women’s 155lbs division this year and are currently running an eight women tournament, featuring among others, two time Olympic judo gold medalist Kayla Harrison, and Sarah Kaufman.
Shields turned pro in 2016, after winning her second Olympic gold medal in boxing. Since then, ‘T-Rex’ has gone 9-0 and won the WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO and the Ring female middleweight titles. On October 5th she will face Ivana Habazin for the vacant WBC Diamond and WBO junior middleweight titles.
Nunes is the current UFC featherweight and bantamweight champion, riding a nine fight win streak. Including devastating wins over former champions, Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey, Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm. She is set to defend her bantamweight title against Germaine de Randamie at UFC 245.
Do you think we’ll ever see Claressa Shields make a switch to MMA?