Two-time Olympic gold medalist and three division professional world champion boxer Claressa Shields showed exactly what you'd expect in her much anticipated mixed martial arts debut in Atlantic City, N.J. Thursday night. The most accomplished boxer to ever cross over into modern MMA, Shields displayed relatively weak grappling but powerful punches along with determination in coming back to stop Brittney Elkin in the third round of the PFL 4 main event.
Shields got taken down and mounted for most of the first two rounds avoiding submissions but doing little else from the bottom. The couple of times she did manage to momentarily escape, she showed her inexperience by staying close to Elkin and trying to ground and pound her rather than standing up, which only got her taken to her back again. But toward the end of the second round she was able to scramble out from underneath her opponent and deliver some hard punches from the top position which seemed to stun Elkin. At the start of the third Shields sprawled to defend a takedown and continued to hammer a seemingly spent Elkin with punches from her knees until the referee stopped the contest.