Taylor “Would Love” For Shields To Ditch MMA & Focus Solely On Boxing

Undisputed Lightweight Champion Katie Taylor has praised Claressa Shields for her venture into MMA but believes the unified middleweight titleholder should now focus solely on her boxing career.

Shields, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and the onl…

Katie Taylor, Claressa Shields

Undisputed Lightweight Champion Katie Taylor has praised Claressa Shields for her venture into MMA but believes the unified middleweight titleholder should now focus solely on her boxing career.

Shields, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and the only boxer in history to hold all four major world titles simultaneously across two weight classes, tested the waters of mixed martial arts as part of the rising PFL promotion in 2021. Having built an unblemished 11-0 record in the squared circle, “T-Rex” looked to create similar success in the cage.

Last June, Shields got off to a winning start in her new sport, recovering from two dropped rounds to TKO Brittney Elkin in the third on debut. But while she was able to overcome her ground deficiencies in her first appearance, the 26-year-old was unable to do the same in her second outing.

At the PFL Finale in October, Shields suffered her first professional loss in combat sports. She fell on the wrong side of a split decision against Abigail Montes after failing to prevent her opponent’s takedowns and keep the fight on the feet.

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Taylor Gives Her Take On Shields’ Two-Sport Venture

Despite her first setback, most acknowledge the transition from boxing to MMA was always going to be difficult, and the likes of UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya have praised Shields for trying her hand at a new sport. It also seems the journey is far from over for “T-Rex,” who expects to return to the cage for her third appearance in 2022.

But one of her fellow pound-for-pound boxing stars Katie Taylor believes a return to MMA wouldn’t be wise. Speaking during an appearance on The MMA Hour, the Irish champion credited Shields for taking on the cross-over challenger. However, “KT” believes she should now streamline all her efforts towards her career in the ring.

“I definitely didn’t expect (Shields to fight in MMA). But I thought it was a fantastic challenge for her to take on because boxing and MMA are two completely different sports. It’s very, very hard for anyone in boxing to cross over because, obviously, we have no ground game.

“If anybody got me to the ground, for example, it would be a huge problem for me. I think obviously you always have a puncher’s chance maybe, but it’s a priority — it’s very, very hard to stay on your feet. So I think it was an admirable challenge for her to take on. But I would love for her just to focus on boxing now.”

Taylor’s plea for Shields to leave her MMA career in the past, for now at least, comes ahead of what looks to be a busy year in boxing for the “GWOAT.”

Shields was initially set to return to the sport to defend her middleweight belts against Slovenia’s Ema Kozin later this month. However, with the British Boxing Board of Control announcing the suspension of the sport in the UK due to COVID-19, the status of that clash, scheduled for Cardiff, Wales, is uncertain.

Beyond that, Shields looks set for a blockbuster undisputed middleweight showdown with England’s Savannah Marshall later this year. With exciting challenges ahead of her in boxing, Taylor believes her immediate future is best set in the squared circle and nowhere else.

“There’s a lot of big fights out there for her,” Taylor said. “The likes of Savannah Marshall, who’s a fantastic world champion fighter, and I think Savannah actually beat her as an amateur fighter, so that is a huge, huge, huge fight for them. It’s probably one of the biggest fights in women’s boxing.” (h/t Boxing Scene)

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Do you agree with Katie Taylor? Should Claressa Shields focus on her career inside the ring?

Continue Reading Taylor “Would Love” For Shields To Ditch MMA & Focus Solely On Boxing at MMA News.

Peña Responds To “Ronda Rousey Wannabe” Harrison’s Warning

If Kayla Harrison was expecting a retraction from Julianna Peña, she may be miffed when she discovers a harsh double-down of disrespect instead.

After Julianna Peña completed her unexpected transition from underdog to champion, she became the belle…

Kayla Harrison, Julianna Pena

If Kayla Harrison was expecting a retraction from Julianna Peña, she may be miffed when she discovers a harsh double-down of disrespect instead.

After Julianna Peña completed her unexpected transition from underdog to champion, she became the belle of the media ball, taking part in numerous interviews covering a wide range of topics. One of those topics was highly coveted free agent and two-time PFL lightweight season winner Kayla Harrison.

Kayla Harrison
Kayla Harrison (Photo: Instagram @JudoKayla)

Given the fact that Harrison is in the middle of her free agency, that means the possibilities are endless and every high-level female competitor might have to field a question about the Olympian at some point.

When the topic of Harrison arrived at Peña’s mantel, she treated it and Harrison’s achievements like yesterday’s rubbish.

“I think she’s the lesser of the training partners for her and Amanda Nunes,” Peña told MMA Junkie. “If that’s the case and I just took out Amanda, I don’t know what kind of position that would put her in. But she’s been fighting the B-leagues. I’ve been fighting in the UFC, I’ve been fighting at the top of the division. I’m fighting in the biggest league of this sport so I’m not paying too much attention to what she’s doing down there.”

When Harrison became aware of these comments, she issued a warning to Peña, cautioning the new champion to watch her words and to not bite off more than she can chew.

She also discredited Peña’s victory over Nunes to some degree when she stated that Nunes would “starch” Peña 9 times out of 10. And if that’s not enough, Harrison capped off her retort by letting it be known that she could beat Peña with just one arm.

Julianna Peña Responds To Kayla Harrison’s Warning

Pregnant Julianna Pena explains decision to put UFC career on hold - MMA  Fighting
Julianna Peña

In an interview this week with BBC Sport, Peña was anything but “careful” with her words. By Harrison’s standards, it would be more accurate to say that “The Venezuelan Vixen” was speaking outright recklessly.

“Who is this Ronda Rousey wannabe?” Peña asked, still befuddled at the mere mention of Harrison during her interview.

Peña would then let Harrison know just how unafraid of her warning she was by offering the lightweight a warm invitation to unchartered territory.

“Kayla is not on my radar. I don’t even think she can make 135lbs, but if she wants to make the weight, pack your stuff and come on over here, honey.”

Peña would then reiterate that, in the meantime, her focus is not on Harrison or anyone other than Amanda Nunes, whom Peña is expected to rematch in a bout Dana White believes will be the biggest women’s fight in UFC history.

Do you think Kayla Harrison will attempt to take Julianna Peña up on her invitation?

Continue Reading Peña Responds To “Ronda Rousey Wannabe” Harrison’s Warning at MMA News.

PFL Fighter Jordan Young Found Dead At 27

PFL light heavyweight prospect Jordan Young has died at the age of 27, as announced by his gym American Top Team on Sunday.

Young’s cause of death is currently unclear.

Young was a former Bellator fighter that had recently seemed to find his foo…

Jordan Young

PFL light heavyweight prospect Jordan Young has died at the age of 27, as announced by his gym American Top Team on Sunday.

Young’s cause of death is currently unclear.

Young was a former Bellator fighter that had recently seemed to find his footing with the PFL.

ATT posted a brief statement on their Twitter page to pay tribute to Young and offer condolences to his family and friends.

“It’s with a heavy heart, we have learned about the passing of our teammate Jordan Young,” the gym shared in a statement. “Our team is shocked and deeply saddened by this news. A great teammate, he will be deeply missed by all of us. Thoughts and prayers to his family. RIP to this warrior.”

Jordan Young Recently Pulled Off An Incredible Comeback

Young accumulated a record of 12-2 during his professional MMA career, but many fans will remember him for how his last fight played out. Young most recently earned a miraculous knockout win over former UFC fighter Omari Akhmedov at the 2021 PFL Championships in October.

After getting smothered and dominated over the first two rounds, Young earned arguably one of the best comeback wins of the year.

Young was widely expected to be a real factor in the league for the 2022 season and beyond. The investigation into his death is ongoing.

How will you remember Jordan Young?

Continue Reading PFL Fighter Jordan Young Found Dead At 27 at MMA News.

PFL Announces “Challenger Series” To Scout Up-And-Coming Talent

The PFL has announced a Dana White’s Contender Series-like show that will begin in 2022 and give MMA prospects an opportunity at a contract.

The PFL Challenger Series will debut on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022, and will stream on Friday nights exclusively…

PFL

The PFL has announced a Dana White’s Contender Series-like show that will begin in 2022 and give MMA prospects an opportunity at a contract.

The PFL Challenger Series will debut on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022, and will stream on Friday nights exclusively on FuboTV. Prospects will have the chance to duke it out and impress a guest panel that will change from week to week and will feature celebrities such as NFL stars Ray Lewis and Todd Gurley, and boxing legends such as Mike Tyson.

The celebrity guest panel will not decide the official outcomes of the fights themselves but will play a significant role in determining which fighters will earn PFL contracts. Fans will also have the opportunity to voice their opinions during the broadcasts regarding fight decisions and who should get an opportunity in the league.

Contract winners will be entered in the league’s 2022 tournament for a chance at $1 million.

The PFL Continues To Change The MMA Landscape

“PFL Challenger Series is not your father’s contender series,” PFL Founder and Chairman Donn Davis said in a statement. “The winner of the PFL Challenger Series can become a real-world Rocky story, going from an unknown pro to World Champion holding a $1 million check in the same year.”

The PFL has added multiple new elements to how the sport of MMA is viewed, and with the level of competition it has added over the past few years. Big names such as Kayla Harrison, former UFC standout Antonio Carlos Jr. and others have made their mark on the league.

The new Challenger Series will add another angle to the league’s future and send the message that the PFL is here to stay for many years to come. It’ll be interesting to see the level of talent they’ll add through this program.

What are your thoughts on the PFL Challenger Series?

Continue Reading PFL Announces “Challenger Series” To Scout Up-And-Coming Talent at MMA News.

Claressa Shields Threatens To Sue Jake Paul & Team For Defamation

Claressa Shields is willing to take the fight to Jake Paul beyond the boxing gym and into the court of law.

This Saturday, Jake Paul returns to pay-per-view when he meets Tyron Woodley in a rematch of their August clash. However, the YouTuber may h…

Claressa Shields, Jake Paul

Claressa Shields is willing to take the fight to Jake Paul beyond the boxing gym and into the court of law.

This Saturday, Jake Paul returns to pay-per-view when he meets Tyron Woodley in a rematch of their August clash. However, the YouTuber may have another fight on his hands if he and his representatives are not mindful.

Last week, Jake Paul’s management team BAVAFA Sports made a shocking claim. They stated in a tweet that Claressa Shields requested to be placed on the undercard for Jake Paul events on multiple occasions. This was a curious revelation seeing as how adamantly Shields has refused to ever even consider doing such a thing in the past.

In fact, it was her open dismissal of that very idea that sparked a feud between herself and Paul, which included the YouTuber mocking her after her first MMA loss and Shields later challenging Paul to a $100,000 sparring match.

Once Shields saw the tweet from Paul’s management team, she issued a warning about making such claims.

“Somebody bout to get sued for lying on my name. Can’t wait to call my lawyer tomorrow morning.”

“Never have I ever. I’m bout Sue @jakepaul & his team for defamation and of character cause I ain’t never asked to be on no undercard of no YouTuber!”

@BAVAFASports y’all bout to get sued! Because Claressa Shields ain’t never asked to be on Jake Paul undercard. You sound crazy as hell! My lawyer will be reaching out though! Use my name for clout. I’ll use your name for a check losers”

After a fan stated that Shields was continuously being disrespected, the Olympic gold medalist put an end to the discussion with some strong closing remarks.

“They bout to have to write a check they ass gonna hate having to cash. Because you talk trash but lying on me is another story! I’m a BIG BOSS WITH A BIG LAWYER!”

Claressa Shields will be competing again on January 29 against Ema Kozin in a boxing match. Her MMA return has not yet been set, though she plans to compete again in 2022 following her loss to Abigail Montes in October.

Do you believe Claressa Shields has a potential legal case against Jake Paul and his representation for defamation of character?

Continue Reading Claressa Shields Threatens To Sue Jake Paul & Team For Defamation at MMA News.

Claressa Shields Makes 2022 Forbes 30 Under 30 List

Claressa Shields has made the 2022 Forbes 30 Under 30 list under the Sports category.

Shields was the only boxer or mixed martial artist to make the list. The 26-year-old is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and is undefeated as a professional boxer…

Claressa Shields

Claressa Shields has made the 2022 Forbes 30 Under 30 list under the Sports category.

Shields was the only boxer or mixed martial artist to make the list. The 26-year-old is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and is undefeated as a professional boxer at 11-0. This year, Shields went 2-0 in boxing, with victories over Marie-Eve Dicaire and Ivana Habazin, both via unanimous decision.

How Claressa Shields Beat Marie-Eve Dicaire for the 154-Pound Championship  - The New York Times
Claressa Shields vs. Marie-Eve Dicaire

Shields also made her MMA debut with the Professional Fighters League. She was successful in her debut, pulling out a come-from-behind victory over Brittney Elkin. She would then lose her follow-up bout to Abigail Montes, however.

Heading into her bout against Montes, Shields acknowledged that she’s learning as she goes, but expressed rocksteady confidence once her overall skillset matches her hands.

“I’ve been learning on the job, and I’ve been just getting better and better,” Shields told The Albuquerque Journal. “… I’m being taught armbars and stuff, and I’m being taught how to get out of them. They’re showing me rear naked chokes, and I’m doing really good in wrestling and getting in great positions.

“That’s stuff that used to confuse me. Now I actually feel good doing them, and that’s just giving me more confidence for the future.”

Shields joins the ranks of NBA star Devin Booker, MLB’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback Dak Prescott to make this year’s Forbes list, to name a few.

Shields is currently scheduled to box Ema Kozin on January 29 and is expected to make her MMA return next year as well, though a hard date has not been set as of yet.

Is there anybody else from MMA that you think would be a good addition to join Claressa Shields on the 2022 Forbes 30 Under 30 List?

Continue Reading Claressa Shields Makes 2022 Forbes 30 Under 30 List at MMA News.