KEY POINTS

  • Claressa Shields wants to become a two-sport champion
  • Shields says she has learned every aspect of MMA at Jackson Wink 
  • The undefeated champ reveals what she used to tell people about a boxing match against Ronda Rousey

Ahead of her highly-anticipated mixed martial arts debut, undefeated boxing champion Claressa Shields ensures that she’s learning from the best in the sport.

Shields discussed her “love to conquer everything” she could in combat sports, particularly becoming the first athlete to simultaneously hold a world title in both boxing and MMA.

In an exclusive interview on “The Hit List” podcast hosted by Nissi Icasiano and Santino Honasan, the 25-year-old Flint, Michigan native revealed that she has “a lot of good friends” in MMA, including current and former UFC champions Holly Holm, Kamaru Usman and Jon Jones.

Shortly after signing with Professional Fighters League (PFL), Shields joined the world-renowned Jackson-Wink MMA Academy where she took “pointers” from Jones and Holm.

Claressa Shields Claressa Shields Photo: Getty Images | Steven Ferdman

According to Shields, she was able to learn “every aspect of MMA” in just more than a week of training with Jones, Holm and coach Mike Winkeljohn himself.

“When I talked to coach Wink [Winkeljohn], it seemed like he understood the urgency of starting to train right away,” she said. “I really couldn’t ask for really more from just the 10 or 12 days that I spent down there, I would tell you I learned every aspect of MMA.”

“We [me and Jones] spent three hours drillin’,” Shields continued. “So many different things, and puttin’ down notes, and I was mimicking him, we made our combinations together and it just seemed like everybody was there to help. And me and Holly Holm also did some kicks and drills together.”

Ronda Rousey UFC fighter Ronda Rousey has said she wouldn't fight Cris "Cyborg" Justino because she used steroids. Photo: Getty Images/Harry How

Shields also recalled the time she was often asked by people about how she would match-up against Rousey in the boxing ring.

For Shields, who admitted that she used to be a “big fan” of a prime “Rowdy,” Rousey was so acclaimed that people actually thought she could do well against a legitimate boxer.

But in reality, Shields believes that there’s no way Rousey could present a tall order against her in boxing.

“People are always asking me, ‘could Ronda Rousey beat you in a boxing match?’,” Shields remembered. “I always just feel offended because she can’t box, she couldn’t box.”

“I respect her as an MMA fighter, but she can’t beat a two-time champion in boxing, and I’m 30 pounds bigger than her,” she pointed out. “That just shows how powerful MMA was. Like she was known as the woman who could probably knock out Mike Tyson and she was 30 pounds smaller than me.”