Claressa Shields is a Two-time Olympic Boxing Champion and the first person to ever hold all four major Boxing World titles in two different divisions at the same time, so naturally she made waves by announcing her transition to MMA when she signed for PFL. With a 11-0 professional Boxing record and a 77-1 Amateur Boxing record, it looked almost certain that Shields should be able to outclass any opponent that PFL can offer her on the feet. But of course, as many skilled grapplers like Khabib Nurmagomedov have shown over the years, the constant threat of a takedown is enough to change the entire landscape of striking exchanges.
That’s why it was refreshing to see that Claressa Shields was taking the change in sports completely seriously by engaging with one of the best gyms she possibly could in Jackson Winklejohn MMA, training BJJ under Roberto Alencar. This was a good sign for the future for Shields as that same gym had already managed to take an elite striker like Holly Holm and transform her into a complete fighter who has been considered one of the best Bantamweights on the planet for quite some time.
That being said, one of Shields’ early interviews generated a decent amount of controversy in the BJJ community when she claimed that she might be able to earn her black belt in the sport within as little as two years, based on her being a “quick learner”. Now, she’s gone on to the Joe Rogan Experience to sit down with the eponymous host and open up about her experiences in her first day training at Jackson Winklejohn MMA and how she found starting out in BJJ.