Claressa Shields, the Shohei Ohtani of combat sports, will return to the cage on Oct. 27.
The Professional Fighters League announced on Thursday that Shields, an Olympic and professional boxing champion who made a successful MMA debut on a PFL card in June, will face Mexico’s Abigail Montes (2-0) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Shields trains for MMA in Albuquerque at Jackson-Wink.
“I’m actually looking forward to fighting against another undefeated fighter and just continuing to grow,” Shields told the Washington Post. “I’m just going to continue to become a complete MMA fighter, just learning to mix everything together to become the best I can be.”
Just as Ohtani has not forsaken pitching for hitting, or vice versa, Shields has no plans to abandon boxing now that she’s pursuing an MMA career. According to online reports, she’s expected to be back in the ring before the end of the year.
In Shields’ MMA debut on June 10 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, she seemed overmatched for most of the first two rounds — even against a fighter, Brittney Elkin, with a record (3-6) that could be described as mediocre at best. But she hurt Elkin with shots to the head late in the second round.
In the third, after thwarting an Elkin takedown attempt, Shields overwhelmed her with punches on the ground— prompting referee Gasper Oliver to stop the fight at the 1:44 mark.
Montes, 21, from Guadalajara, will be making her PFL debut. She won her first two fights — one by unanimous decision, one by second-round TKO — in her native Mexico.
She has not fought at 155 pounds, the weight class at which she’ll face Shields. Montes’ first fight was contested at 135 pounds, the second at 145.
Shields, 26, of Flint, Michigan, won Olympic gold medals in London in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016. She’s 11-0 as a pro with two knockouts and has held world titles in three weight classes (junior middleweight, middleweight, super middleweight).
She last fought as a boxer on March 5 in her hometown of Flint, defeating Canada’s Marie Eve Dicaire by overwhelming unanimous decision.
MORE SHIELDS: The second installment of a four-part espn+ series on Shields is now available for streaming.
The first 20 minutes details Shields’ preparation in Albuquerque for the Elkin fight, followed by the fight itself and the immediate aftermath.
TROUT WEIGH-IN: Las Cruces boxer Austin Trout (33-5-1, 13 KOs) weighed in at 154.2 pounds for his fight against Mexico’s Alejandro Davila (22-2, nine KOs) Friday in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Davila weighed in at 153.8 pounds.
Friday’s card is scheduled to be streamed on fite.tv, starting at 10 a.m. MT.
FRANKLIN WEIGH-IN: MMA heavyweight Davion Franklin saw to it that the number 264 was well-represented Thursday in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Franklin (3-0), who trains in Albuquerque at Jackson-Wink, weighed in at 264 pounds— one pound below the weight limit for heavyweights — for his fight Friday against Everett Cummings on Bellator 264 at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Cummings (15-0), of Corona, California, weighed in at 257 pounds.
Franklin-Cummings is on the Bellator main card, scheduled to be televised on Showtime, starting at 7 p.m.
PFL 2020 #10: Claressa Shields vs. Abigail Montes, several other fights, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Streaming: espn+, time TBA