Claressa Shields turns to MMA amid pandemic

Claressa Shields bases on the brink of making history, once again, as on March 5 she will try to end up being the very first fighter, male or woman, to hold indisputable champions in 2 weight classes in the four-belt period.

Shields is currently the indisputable middleweight champ and will deal with Marie-Eve Dicaire in an extremely welterweight marriage bout. 4 males and 3 females, consisting of Shields, have actually been undisputed throughout the four-belt period.

However what is making what Shields, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, is trying to do much more impressive is that she’s preparing a shift to combined martial arts at the exact same time.

She talked to Yahoo Sports by phone from Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she remained in a break from Mixed Martial Arts exercises at JacksonWink. She prepares to make her Mixed Martial Arts launching in June.

It’s an enthusiastic endeavor, however that’s what Shields has actually had to do with because the day she turned expert.

“I want all of these challenges,” she stated.

She matured in impoverished conditions in Flint, Michigan, a long shot to leave the cycle of hardship and violence that has actually swallowed up a lot of in the city.

After 2 Olympic gold medals and world champions in 3 weight classes, Shields in 2015 ended up being the very first individual in her instant household to be able to purchase her own house.

Ever Since, the word on every huge celebration has actually been the exact same in the household: Celebration at Claressa’s.

“Being able to buy my own house was moving and it made me very emotional,” she stated. “I don’t think anyone in my family owned their own home. Maybe my grandma, maybe a few of my uncles, but in my immediate family, my siblings, even my mother wasn’t able to purchase her own house. Now I have a big house, a big three-bedroom, a full basement, three bathrooms, a living room. I didn’t have that growing up.

“Now, I can provide that for my family. All of the family get-togethers are at my house: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s; everything is celebrated at my house. It just makes it feel so more family-oriented.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 07: Claressa Shields before the start of a press conference with Ivana Habazin at Hotel Plaza Athenee prior to their January 11th, 2020 WBO 154-pound title fight at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, NJ on January 07, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
Claressa Shields (10-0, 2 KOs) revealed her ring return is set for March 5 versus Marie-Eve Dicaire (17-0, 0 KOs). (Image by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

Battles with Dicaire were held off several times and Shields hasn’t completed because Jan. 10, 2020, when she decisioned Ivana Habazin in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

She was expected to be the focal point of an all females’s boxing card that was to be streamed on UFC Battle Pass however that broke down at the last minute.

While all that was going on, she relied on Mixed Martial Arts and continued her boxing training. She’ll head to Florida next week to focus exclusively on the boxing match with Dicaire, however she’s been dealing with both sports for a number of months now.

“When I didn’t have a boxing match lined up, I’ve been splitting it up,” she stated. “So on a Monday, I’d do all boxing, all boxing workouts, cardio. The next day, I’d do all MMA: Kicks, knees, fighting from the back, Superman punches, core exercises and then I’d have strength and conditioning. The next day, boxing again and the day after, MMA.

“I keep going back and forth. I’ve been here in Albuquerque for the last two weeks doing nothing but MMA. I just got done doing kickboxing sparring. But I’ll put that on hold at the end of the week to fly to Florida and start my full boxing camp.”

It’s impressive what she has actually currently achieved and what she’s attempting to do.

Women’s boxing lags method behind females’s Mixed Martial Arts in appeal. Even prior to UFC president Dana White was encouraged to permit females in the UFC, females’s Mixed Martial Arts was more popular than females’s boxing.

Why that is is open for argument, however there is no argument about this: Claressa Shields is doing whatever possible to get her sport by the neck and press it into the mainstream.

If it doesn’t arrive, it won’t be since of her. And it won’t demean her lots of achievements.

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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.