As women’s boxing continues to thrive, as seen within the last few events of fights that have taken place, Claressa Shields is keeping a close eye on her throne. Whether it’s boxing or MMA, Shields is here to prove she is one of the best athletes in combat sports, period.
Shields (10-0), a two-time Olympic gold medalist and undisputed middleweight champion, considers herself the “GWOAT” (Greatest Women Of All Time). At 25, she has accomplished more than most can imagine. There is someone, however, who may give her a run for her money. That person happens to be UFC Featherweight and Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes. Shields is looking to take the crown and hold onto it.
“Being the Greatest Woman of All Time in boxing is cool,” Shields stated on Brian Custer’s The Last Stand podcast, via Boxing Scene, “but I hate people that say Amanda Nunes fights better than me. No, you do MMA better than me, for sure, because that’s what you do, but if you take away her kicking and her elbows, and we were to just go left and right (hands) I would win.”
Making her pro debut in 2016, Shields won her first piece of gold, the NABF Middleweight Title, in her second fight. She would win the WBC and IBF Super-Middleweight Title against Nikki Adler, the WBA and IBF Middleweight Titles from Hanna Gabriel, and the WBC Middleweight Title against Hannah Rankin. A big achievement was beating longtime WBO Champion Christina Hammer. Shields recently moved in weight to beat Ivana Habazin for the WBC and WBO Light-Middleweight Titles.
When it comes to boxers and MMA fighters, Shields sees the difference and believes her skills outmatch a martial artist.
“MMA fighters make it seem like she could just come over and beat (me) and it’s like they gotta me smoking some kind of dope or something,” Shields went on to say. “That’s like if I could go over to the MMA without training and beat her. It’s like, I gotta train, I gotta get some kind of experience. I gotta get some fights in MMA. You can’t just go over there and act like the kicking and the elbows don’t matter. That stuff matters in MMA. But in boxing it doesn’t. You can say she’s the Greatest Woman of All Time in MMA but when it comes to ‘Oh, she’s got better hands than any woman fighter that I’ve ever seen,’ that’s a damn lie.”
Boxing at 16 and a jiu-jitsu specialist, Nunes (20-4) has over 13 wins via knockout. Her precision, power, and ground game allowed her to win the UFC Bantamweight Title against Miesha Tate at UFC 200. She has defended the belt five times, eventually beating Cris Cyborg to win the UFC Featherweight Title. Nunes’ last fight was at UFC 250 in June, beating Felicia Spencer. By defending the UFC Featherweight Title, she became the first fighter in UFC history to defend two belts and still hold onto them.
There have been talks of a fight between the two. Initial conversations had a boxing and MMA bout, with a significant amount of money needed to make it happen. Shields would entertain the idea, as long as her point is made.
“I definitely see myself getting in the Octagon but not for reasons that I want to fight in the Octagon,” Shields stated. “I want to be known as the best woman fighter ever… I would love to do both (fight Nunes in the boxing ring and in the octagon),” Shields continued. “It depends on her. I know I want to do both. And I’m willing to train and get ready for it.”