After a controversial postponement this past summer, Claressa Shields will return to the ring in a battle against Ivana Habazin for the vacant WBC and WBO junior middleweight titles.
The fight, which was rescheduled for January 10th after Habazin’s trainer was hospitalized due to a sucker punch by Shields’ brother, will see a familiar face in the crowd in UFC womens’ featherweight and bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes.
“It was great for Claressa to go see Amanda fight live and that created a lot of interest,” Shields’ promoter Dmitry Salita told MMA Junkie. “We’d like to invite Amanda to Claressa’s next fight, which is going to be on Jan. 10. Hopefully she can show up and see Claressa first hand. It’s a work in progress – the media is interested, the fans are interested and, from the feedback we’ve received from multiple media sources, you can see how many people will write about it.”
“Obviously, Amanda said what she said about fighting Claressa in a UFC fight but here’s the big difference. There is no part of boxing that involves wrestling, that involves grappling. A big part of the UFC is striking, and Amanda is one of the best, if not the best, striker in the women’s game. So Amanda will be in her territory being a striker fighting another striker in Claressa. In the UFC, it wouldn’t really be Claressa’s territory because she has no experience in grappling, that type of grappling or kicking or any of that stuff.”
UFC President Dana White has extended an offer for Shields to come into the Octagon, while Shields has openly considered a “home and home” series with both fighters facing off in their respective sports.