Sports Desk: Boxing champion Claressa Shields ready for MMA debut

FOX New Mexico

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Claressa Shields sounds confident as she gets ready to fight as a mixed martial artist for the very first time on June 10. The world boxing champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist taking in all of the knowledge she can while training at Jackson and Wink Academy with the likes of former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and former UFC women’s bantamweight champ Holly Holm and Michelle Waterson.

Not a bad roster to learn from when switching from boxing to MMA. “I don’t want to fight like Holly or I don’t want to specifically fight like Jonny,” said Shields. “I want to have my own style, but also have bits and pieces. I want to be able to wrestle my butt off like Jonny and, throw those big kicks. I want to be able to have knockout kicks like Holly Holm and just be quick with the jiu-jitsu and wrestling.”

Shields will headline when she battles Brittney Elkin under the PFL fight banner. Shields said Elkins has been talking a little bit. “She said she was going to submit me in 15,” said Shields. “I’m just going to let her do all her talking. That’s fine with me because the thing she don’t understand is when you’re a champion and you’re actually somebody who train for what you want and you work hard it’s like she’s got to come in there and just destroy me. It’s going to be a fight. I’m headlining the card. It’s creepy. I’m the main event in my MMA debut. This is a big deal for me and I just refuse to lose.”

The fight will be in Atlantic City, New Jersey and broadcast on ESPN 2 at 7 p.m.

In other sports news, University of New Mexico women’s basketball coach Mike Bradbury talked about the two international players the Lobos signed this week. Bradbury believes the two freshmen guards will contribute right away. “With Rebeka, she’s a pass-first point guard, can really see the floor, has played high-level competition internationally,” said Bradbury. “With Zeyno, that kid has a lot of potential. She can score at every level, really shoot the three. That kid has great size for a guard. She can play all four-guard spots. I think her contributions will be seen pretty quick.”

Lobo men’s golf junior Sam Choi has been named All Division 1 Regional for a second time. Choi, ranked 35th in collegiate golf, was ranked as high as 23rd this season.

New Mexico State football has added a home and home with the Air Force Falcons. The Aggies will host the first game on Sep. 9 of 2023. The Aggies will travel to Ft. Collins on a return trip on Sep. 13 of 2025.

Ron Murphy’s Rio Rancho Rams baseball team made him the most winningest coach in New Mexico high school baseball Tuesday. The 15-0 Rams are also peaking with state championship week within sight. Championship week is June 21-26.

Lastly, the Chicago Cubs got a two-run home run from Javier Baez and beat the San Diego Padres 6-1 Wednesday.

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