Black Excellence: Claressa Shields Makes History with First Female MMA Victory in Saudi Arabia

by Gee NY
Claressa Shields. Image Credit: @espnw on Instagram

Undefeated boxing champion Claressa Shields has etched her name in the annals of sports history once again, securing victory in the first-ever professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) match for women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Facing off against opponent Kelsey De Santis on Feb. 24, 2024, Shields showcased her versatility as a combat sports athlete with this groundbreaking win.

With an impeccable record of 14-0 in boxing, Shields now boasts a 2-1 MMA record following her triumph in Saudi Arabia.

This victory comes as the latest chapter in Shields’ MMA journey, building upon her previous match against Abigail Montes in October 2021.

Reflecting on her historic win, Shields acknowledged the grueling nature of her training camp and the challenges she faced along the way.

Despite moments of doubt, Shields remained steadfast in her commitment to the sport, vowing to continue honing her skills and pushing herself to new heights.

Shields’ victory underscores the growing presence of female MMA fighters in Saudi Arabia, signaling a shift in attitudes towards women in sports within the country.

Her achievement aligns with the recent milestone of Hattan Alsaif, who became the first Saudi woman to join an international MMA promotion in January.

Hailing from Flint, Michigan, Shields serves as an inspiration to athletes worldwide, breaking barriers and proving that resilience knows no bounds.

With speculation swirling about a potential rematch between Shields and Britain’s Savannah Marshall in MMA, the future looks bright for this trailblazing athlete who continues to make history in the world of combat sports.

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