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Claressa Shields plans September 2020 MMA debut: ‘The women get more respect’

Claressa Shields is ready to dive into the world of mixed martial arts.

Claressa Shields MMA UFC Boxing News Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Women In Sports Foundation

Undefeated boxer Claressa Shields is ready to change lanes.

The 9-0 professional boxer and two-time Olympic gold medalist has previously shown little interest in competing in mixed martial arts, but all that has changed. Shields reacted to a headline about Scott Coker wanting her in Bellator. Shields, 24, said she would consider joining the promotion at lightweight.

Michael Woods of Bad Left Hook reached out to Shields. The pro-boxer said she was, in fact, serious about competing in MMA.

“Yeah, debuting September of next year,” Shields said. “I’ve done some wrestling training, going to start my BJJ next month and learn some kicks. So next year September I’ll be ready!”

“The women get more respect over there and money,” she said of MMA. “Truth be told I’m a world-class athlete, I have carried myself like a leader, putting on great performances and taking tough challenges. But still the acknowledgment is not there.”

A move to MMA would follow other great women boxers Holly Holm, Heather Hardy and Amanda Serrano.