Shields (1-1), a two-time Olympic gold medalist and undefeated boxing champion, fell short in her sophomore MMA effort Wednesday when she lost a split decision to Abigail Montes (3-0). It was a competitive, back-and-forth fight, but ultimately an inability to get up from her back in Round 3 cost Shields the fight.
After putting together a flawless boxing run and winning her MMA debut earlier this year, Shields experienced defeat for the first time as a professional fighter – in any sport. There were immediate questions about how she would handle a setback, but the early signs show her intent to bounce back stronger.
Shields took to social media Thursday and shared her perspective on the loss (via Twitter):
I loss a split decision, I didn’t get my ass whooped 🤣 I also improved. All I’m going to do is go back to the drawing board and keep learning. No one said this journey was going To be easy. MMA is new to me, I’m fighting on a world stage after only 9 months of training. #blessed
The difference in last night was I’ve never had to fight or even train in a cage so damn slippery. It’s all learning & just different from boxing. I did a lot of things right last night. I just loss a split decision
Shields, 26, did have one critic she was keen to respond to after the loss: Jake Paul. In the lead-up to her 2021 PFL Championship fight, Shields had a lot to say about the YouTuber-turned-boxer, claiming she would never share a card with Paul and that she could beat him with one hand in a boxing match.
Paul took the opportunity to respond to Shields after her fight, calling her a “loser” and tearing her down for having a bad attitude. Shields, of course, had something to say in return (via Twitter):
😂 this is funny. You come running when I lose a split decision in a while new world mma but never even once said “congrats on all you’ve done and aspire to do.” 2 things that remain Jake, I still fight better than you & you won’t accomplish 10% of what I have in boxing or life
Unlike Jake I fought a real mma fighter, he has yet to face a real boxer in boxing 😂 but Showtime will still back him though #Amerika
Shields is expected to return to the boxing ring before the end of the year now that PFL has concluded events until next season. She said she’s more motivated than ever to continue her MMA journey, though, and promised to level up next time she steps in the cage.
I’ll return to boxing in December and continue my undefeated journey there and MMA we ain’t done! I got something for y’all ass next year! It’s on now! Y’all done fired me up with this one! Watch my next mma fight I’ll be on a different level! Not discouraged at all!
Twitter reacts to Claressa Shields’ first combat sports loss at 2021 PFL Championship