Claressa Shields wins her MMA debut by stoppage
Undisputed super welterweight champion Claressa “T-Rex” Shields (1-0, 1 KO MMA) (11-0, 2 KO’s Boxing) found success in her MMA debut. She did so by stopping Brittney Elkin (3-6, 1 KO’s) by way of third round TKO. Although she is a well-established boxing commodity, this crossover move was far from a surprise. Shields has talked about jumping over into mixed martial arts for the last couple of years. In her most braggadocios moments, she openly discussed facing MMA powerhouse Amanda Nunes. Of course, she felt she would need to get a few fights under her belt, first. Yet, after watching this first outing, that fight may be some time off, if they ever fight. Still, in the end, T-Rex did not shame herself with the performance.
The fight proceeded as many might assume that it would. T-Rex being the better striker with her fists, Elkin had no real answers for the boxer’s thudding punches. Whenever Shields was able to hit her with a punch, it took a visible toll on her. Therefore, it should be no shock that Elkin was quick to take the fight to the ground. In fact, the first two rounds were near mirror images of one another. Shields began well on her feet only to have Elkin shoot-in and grab her legs. To Shields’ credit, she technically blocked the take downs but in the scuffle, she wound up on the ground anyway.
Being the fish out of water that she was, once on the ground, Shields was largely unable to get back to her feet. As a result, the majority of both, the first and second rounds, saw Shields fighting on her back. Luckily she was able to minimize any offense that Elkin presented and took very little damage. At the beginning of the third and final round, T-Rex hurt Elkin with punches again which resulted in the MMA fighter trying to scoop her legs anew.
The bout went to the mat again, only this time Shields was on top. With her more advantageous position, the boxing star landed a bevy of punches and hammer fists until the ref was forced to jump in and stop the action. This was a great win for Claressa Shields because, normally, boxers suffer embarrassing defeats when they venture into the cage. At the same time, do not expect Shields to be dancing with the cream of the MMA crop any time soon!
By: Bakari Simpson