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Laying the groundwork, Claressa Shields says she got better on mat for second PFL fight

·2 min read

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Claressa Shields survived on the ground long enough to capitalize on the moment in her professional MMA debut when she rallied to defeat Brittney Elkin in June.

The experience provided her with numerous pieces of information: what she did wrong, what she did right, and what she needs to do differently.

Ahead of her second pro MMA fight Wednesday at the 2021 PFL Championship event, Shields (1-0) thinks her time spent at Jackson Wink MMA in recent weeks will pay off.

“It’s always the ground game,” Shields told MMA Junkie at a pre-fight media day Monday. “It’s always adding more to my offensive arsenal. It’s not just defensive ground game but also offensive ground game stuff. Then, also, too, you’ve got to fix the mistakes that happened in the first fight.”

For the first two weeks of training camp in preparation for Abigail Montes (2-0), Shields focused on the mistakes she made the first time around. After that, it was about rounding out her game as a whole.

“(We looked at) how I could have a better IQ when they’re going for a takedown and things of that nature,” Shields said. “We fixed that first before we actually started getting ready for Abigail.”

Related

Abigail Montes sees holes in Claressa Shields' striking: 'Adapting that to MMA is difficult'

Claressa Shields blasts the state of women's boxing: 'I should've started doing MMA sooner'

Claressa Shields confident she can handle careers in boxing, MMA: 'Only the greats can do it'

Known for her projected self-confidence (in addition to her decorated boxing background, of course), Shields revealed it’s not just her who thinks she’ll be better this time around. During recent Brazilian jiu-jitsu sessions, Shields has been receiving compliments from those around her.

“I was live rolling in jiu-jitsu last week and somebody was like, ‘It looks like you’re a blue belt,'” Shields said. “I was like, ‘What the hell? No, (I’m) not a blue belt. It takes three years to get there, so don’t do that.’ But I know I’m definitely learning to where I understand it, and I know what I’m doing.”

2021 PFL Championship takes place Wednesday at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Fla. The card airs on ESPN2 and streams on ESPN+ after prelims on ESPN+.

Check out Claressa Shields’ full pre-fight comments in the video above.

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