Multiweight boxing champion Claressa Shields has again in contrast herself to Muhammad Ali forward of her Professional Fighters League MMA bow, evaluating the 2 sports activities in between savaging opponent Brittney Elkin after their weigh-in.
Never low on confidence, Shields was somber on the weigh-in as she made her manner to the scales however then let off a thunderous growl whereas beating herself down to then face Elkin in a martial arts pose.
Having spent seven months coaching with the likes of former UFC champions Jon Jones and Holly Holms, Shields was on characteristically brash type in the following press conference.
“She doesn’t sound confident in anything she’s saying,” she stated of Elkin, who has misplaced six of her 9 fights however has significantly extra expertise than Shields.
“First it was going to be 15 seconds, now it’s going to be the second round. The truth is, Brittney Elkin is going to lose, period. I didn’t come to the PFL just to have my beautiful record in boxing be taken by someone who is not even a serious fighter.
“Don’t depend me out simply because Brittney has been in MMA for 12 years and hasn’t been nice at something besides jiu-jitsu. I’m a terrific athlete, a terrific particular person and I’m simply wanting ahead to getting in there and shutting up all these things about grapplers having the ability to beat boxers as a result of I’m an MMA fighter now.”
After the preliminary shock of grappling in sparring, Shields now says she can bounce round just like the legendary Ali and expects to be the “exception” who becomes a champion within a year.
“Boxing is apples: you rinse it off, you chew it and also you eat it,” she hypothesized in front of the media as Elkin largely kept her counsel.
“MMA is like an orange…it is actually like a grapefruit: you’ve got obtained to peel it and peel it again to get the fruit. MMA is a lot extra complicated.
“Boxing and MMA is all about war: me versus you, man versus man, woman versus woman. Can’t nobody help you in there.
“I began off in June and I used to be solely in a position to bench 135, which I might do in the ninth grade. So my boyfriend, who’s my energy and conditioning coach, began getting me collectively.
“Now I can bench 135 ten times and 185 one time. I’m stronger and have better control over my diet.
“Boxing and MMA are two completely different sports activities however they at all times in contrast me to Amanda Nunes or Ronda Rousey. Those ladies had been nice MMA fighters but when they got here to boxing, I’d beat them.
“I was like, ‘maybe you should get to the point where you can beat them in MMA. That would be much bigger.’
“There are some issues in MMA that I like and do not like. At the beginning, I did not like every of it. I can say now that I agree the wrestling half, kicks and seeing when kicks are coming.
“Now when I spar, I don’t feel helpless at all because I know what to do. You won’t recognize me at all on Thursday.”
Shields has admitted that she wants to keep away from turning into concerned in Elkin’s “game” once they meet in Atlantic City – her opponent is a brown belt in Jiu-jitsu.
“It would just be a dream to cause an upset, so I’m excited,” stated Elkin. “She always talks like that, so it doesn’t bother me.
“I’m very assured too – I simply do not use as many phrases to clarify myself. I simply let it go as a result of I need to present what I can do in there, and I would like to say much less to do this.
“I don’t feel offended at all: I feel that everybody putting the attention on her has just let me slide in and get to work.”
Now the world is about to discover out whether or not Shields can switch her class as a double Olympic champion and the one feminine athlete to be an undisputed queen in two completely different weight lessons over to a brand new self-discipline.