In a recent interview on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, PFL CEO, Peter Murray announced that boxing’s middleweight queen, Claressa Shields will make her return to MMA under the PFL banner in November, following her unification bout with Savannah Marshall.
“She is training for one of her biggest fights in her pro career in boxing right now… that’ll happen in September, and following that, she’ll going to make her third pro MMA fight in November, on our championship card… after that boxing bout, she’ll then transition to full MMA mode and she’ll be on the November card”.
Claressa Shields Returns To The Ring
Claressa Shields returns to the boxing ring for the second time since dipping her toes into the cage on September 10th, deep in enemy territory at the O2 Arena, as she aims to recapture her WBO female middleweight title from Savannah Marshall. Marshall has held the title since it was vacated by Shields during her stint in MMA, defending the belt three times in the interim.
Shields went 1-1 in MMA under the PFL banner, after training BJJ under IBJJF No Gi World Champion Roberto Alencar, alongside Holly Holm, joining Holm at JacksonWink MMA in late 2020. Shields won her first bout against Brittney Elkin via TKO in R1, and lost a split decision against Abigail Montes on the PFL Championship card.
Peter Murray Open To Welcoming Jake Paul To MMA
Murray also teased that he is open to welcoming Jake Paul to MMA, following flirtation on Twitter. Murray had nothing but praise for Paul’s growth in his short time as a professional athlete, telling Helwani that the PFL would be excited to welcome him to the sport.
“We have a relationship with Jake… think about what Jake has built for himself… and is now an athlete versus where he’s come from, what he’s taken on and the opponents and the platform he’s built is nothing short of impressive. He’s ambitious from a business perspective as well as an athlete… should he want to take on MMA, that’s something we’d certainly be excited about”.
Paul has been forced to cancel his event at Madison Square Garden this week against Hasim Rahman Jr. after the later was deemed unable to healthily make weight for the bout by the NYSAC. However, speculation is rife that this is merely the PR explanation, given that the event had generated only $1M in ticket sales, and the PPV was trending badly.
Are you excited to see Claressa Shields return to MMA?