Undefeated boxing world champion Claressa Shields survived a series of submission attempts in the first two rounds of her mixed martial arts debut before beating Brittney Elkin by TKO at the Professional Fight League event in Atlantic City on Thursday.
The 26-year-old, who won boxing gold at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, lost the opening rounds to Elkin and went into the third and final five-minute frame knowing she had to stop the experienced jiu-jitsu brown belt.
Shields landed some heavy punches and managed to retain top position as Elkin again tried to take the fight to the mat, ending the contest in a flurry of right hands to complete a stunning reversal one minute and 44 seconds into the round.
“I feel like I am dreaming, this is crazy,” an elated Shields said in her post-fight interview. “I tell you, when that third round came, I’m gonna dog her, I went crazy.”