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Highlights! Claressa Shields rallies, batters Brittney Elkins for debut stoppage win

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Professional Fighter’s League returned tonight (June 10, 2021) with their fourth event of the 2021 season. While there were several exciting “regular season” bouts between veteran fighters looking to advance into the playoffs, inarguably the biggest draw of the night was the main event, which featured the MMA debut of legendary boxing champion Claressa Shields.

Despite preparing with the famed Jackson-Winkeljohn Academy for her MMA crossover, Shields debut did not start well. It did not take long for her opponent, Brittney Elkins, to drag her to the mat from the clinch. In top position, it was brown belt vs. white belt, and Elkins was able to control several minutes from the mount.

The second round started better for Shields, who managed to string together a few combinations and show off her fast hands. However, she got a bit too eager when defending a takedown, winding up on bottom in the ensuing scramble. Once there, she was thoroughly stuck on bottom, though Shields did manage to defend an armbar and avoiding giving up her back completely.

Besides the obvious pugilistic edge, there is another benefit to being a boxing world champion: cardio. Despite her success on the mat, Elkins was tired in the third, and Shields stood ready to capitalize. After taking top position following a failed takedown. Shields really let loose on her opponent. Elkins hung onto a leg, but she was absolutely battered in the process.

When Elkins began to wilt, the referee stepped in, handing Shields her first professional MMA victory.

This was one hell of a debut for Shields! She was seriously tested on the mat, and there were actually moments of solid fundamentals from the boxer. However, she also made some really questionable decisions — hardly unreasonable from a debuting athlete! Fortunately, her athleticism really bailed her out in the final frame.

It will be very interesting to watch her career develop moving forward.


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