Shields Committed to Trying MMA
On Friday January 10, unified middleweight champion Claressa “T-Rex” Shields (9-0, 2 KO’s) will be looking to make a bit more history. The dominant boxer has already captured Olympic gold twice, claimed championships in two different weight classes and unified at middleweight. Next, Shields will attempt to defeat Ivana Habazin in order to claim the vacant WBC and WBO super welterweight titles.
If successful in this endeavor, Shields will become a champion in her third division. Not only will she be a three divisional champion, the Flint, Michigan native will have accomplished the feat faster than anyone else, man or women, in history. However, it looks like Shields is interested in trailblazing in more than just boxing
Despite arguably being the face of women’s boxing, Shields has her mind made up that she will try her hand at fighting in the octagon. The notion to try MMA first began taking shape when MMA star Amanda Nunes defeated Cris Cyborg on December 29, 2018.
While singing Nunes’ praises in the aftermath of her impressive victory, some began openly speculating that Nunes was the most dominant female force in boxing or MMA. Even though T-Rex has no personal beef with Nunes, this type of chatter was nothing that she could over look. Shield’s quickly let it be known that she wanted to fight Nunes in the boxing ring and the cage.
“I remember when Amanda Nunes knocked out Cris Cyborg and, I don’t know who said it, but they said, ‘Amanda Nunes has the best hands that we’ve seen in any sport, boxing or MMA,’ and I was like, ‘No!’ We are not going to do that. We are not going to say that Amanda Nunes has better hands than me. I’m a two-time Olympic gold medalist in boxing. I just wasn’t going to settle for that. That’s why I wanted to have a fight with her in boxing because when she beats girls in the UFC, the majority [of her wins] are with her hands. She knocked out Cris Cyborg with one punch. For me, I want to get in there and fight her because of that.
I can understand her feeling like she’s coming in at a disadvantage in boxing. So that’s why I said I would gladly learn some jiu-jitsu and some wrestling, and I already know how to box. So I would get in the cage and do it on that side just to make it fair because Mayweather beat up McGregor in boxing, but who knows how Mayweather would do in the cage against McGregor? I feel like I’m young enough to take the time to learn these things and actually get in there and win. I don’t go into nothing like, ‘hopefully I win’. I’m going in there looking for 100-percent win factor.”
TRAINING WITH THE BEST
Just because Shields called Nunes out does not mean that she will rush in halfcocked to the unfamiliar sport. T-Rex openly admitted that if she did matriculate into MMA, she would first need to obtain a good measure of training. This is why she has already received a notable amount of advice and practical training from Olympic wrestling champion Adaline Gray.
Going one step further, Shields has also enlisted the help of all-time MMA great Jon “Bones” Jones. At the moment, T-Rex is planning on joining Jones in his camp toward the end of February.
Thus far, Shields and her MMA allies have marveled at how quickly she has been able to pick up many of the maneuvers and nuances of the sport. With this in mind, Shields is eager and excited to see what tips and tools she can glean from training alongside Jon Jones. Provided all goes well, and Shields does actually enter the octagon, she will greatly enhance her already impressive body of work.
“I’ve been able to catch on to things very fast, learn and I’ve had some great people who have reached out to me. I’ll be going to camp with Jon Jones, I believe, at the end of February just to see if I can get into the whole training thing and do what he does because he’s so great. I’m looking forward to it…
The debut is definitely coming in 2020, towards the end of the year. I know that when I start dedicating myself, I’ll want to be the best I can be. I’ll definitely want to get my feet wet and I know my boxing surpasses all of the girls in any of the MMA organizations. I’m a street fighter, too. Don’t let my boxing fool you, I get down with the get down, and get up with the get up. I’m just gonna learn all of the techniques but I think it will be an easy transition for me because of the way that I box.”
By: Bakari Simpson