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Shields Makes History, Again


Shields cherishing the results of a hard fought win. Photo: PFL PR

In the first bout between women held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 2X Olympic Gold Medalist and 3 Division boxing champion Claressa Shields won a close split decision victory over US. Marine, Kelsey DeSantis.


Sheilds did good clinch work but got taken down and was caught in an submission that Sheilds said nearly broke her arm. In the post fight press conference that DeSantis would have to break her arm, she was not going to tap. This clearly gave the round to DeSantis.


A deep armbar that almost gave DeSantis the victory. Photo: PFL PR

In Round 2 Shields leaned on the background that put her in this position. , She worked hard to keep it on the feet and swung for the fences landing damaging shots to the head and doing excellent bodywork.  Kelsey took Claressa down but had little success. Like the first round, jt was obvious who won this one. This time it was clearly Claressa’s.


A hard hook by the GWOAT punishes Kelsey. Photo: PFL PR

Round three was the closest of all. First 1/2 Shields continued to batter the body and head of Kelsey. There were moments when it seemed as if the referee would step in and stop it. An off balance Claressa was taken down on the cage and stayed grounded for the second half. In the final minute DeSantis had the GWOAT mounted but the harder shots landed were by Shields from her back.


Kelsey valiantly throwing shots in an attempt to win the final round. Photo: PFL PR

In the final and deciding round two judges favored damage over position and Shields obtained her second victory as an MMA fighter.  Shields shared post fight how hard this camp was for her. How she considered giving up, abandoning this pursuit and sticking to the sweet science.  She persevered and used that same drive to secure the victory in this match.


Mike Tyson may have never been to a Shield’s Boxing match but he was there for her MMA match. She said, “Now I’m an MMA fighter. She sprawled and brawled, withstood submissions and used a full skill set in her fight. Boxing professionally or in the Olympics, Sheilds said she never had a fight as difficult as this one.


Post Fight Picture in the press room.

Claressa is an ambassador for women’s sports especially in boxing. She offered to help the Kingdom build their women’s boxing program. Speaking of boxing, Savannah Marshall was at the fight and spoke of facing Sheilds in the cage. To this the GWOAT reminded her that she already beat her in boxing and this is a different game. She said Marshall needs to get in the cage and learn how to get up. She’s to slow for her and she would beat her again.


Overhead shot of the outdoor arena where the fighter did battle.

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