Claressa Shields: “I Almost Got My Arm Snapped In A Freakin Armbar”

Claressa Shields Nearly Suffers Career-Altering Injury

Claressa Shields wins her MMA bout against Kelsay Desantis
Claressa Shields survives scare to win decision over Kelsay Desantis | credit: Twitter

Shields Survives Scare to Narrowly Overcome Kelsay Desantis

Three-time undisputed boxing champion Claressa “T-Rex” Shields (2-1, 1KO) bounces back from first Mixed Martial Arts defeat to score a close split decision victory over Kelsay Desantis (1-3, 1KO).


T-Rex had to overcome the biggest scare of her career after enduring a painful armbar for what seemed like forever in the opening round. Refusing to tap out, she made it out of the round but came roaring back in the next round with vicious body shots.

In the final round, the Michigan native continued to fire off shots before getting into trouble again. With the round almost over, Desantis scored a takedown and started landing shots to Shields’s face. When the final bell rang, fans in attendance cheered as both women gave it their all in a close battle.

One judge gave Desantis a scorecard of 29-28, as two judges scored it 29-28 in favor of Shields. It was a history-making moment as they were the first women to ever fight in a combat sport in Saudi Arabia.


It was a good comeback win for Shields after losing to Abigail Montes in 2021. An emotional T-Rex spoke from the heart to the fans, showing her appreciation.

“It’s not easy what I’m trying to do, and I’ve been so respectful of the sport, and I put in a lot of hard work to this . . . I almost got my arm snapped in the freaking Ambar. I had to fight out of that.”

Seeing the active boxer in an armbar probably had the boxing community holding their breath. If seriously injured, it would have been a devastating blow to Shields’ boxing career. One can’t help but to ask the question: how much longer can she keep fighting in both sports?

Shields should be commended for showing tremendous heart in a difficult moment. However, the three-time undisputed champion will have to make a tough decision at some point. She is hoping to make a mega-showdown with boxing rival Savannah Marshall, who signed with PFL (Professional Fight League) in 2023.

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Garrisson Bland - Head of Public Relations/Senior Journalist. Garrisson is the Head of Public relations for as well as a senior writer. He is also the host of YouTube boxing show "Truth And Facts Sports Talk."