Claressa Shields, the world champion boxer, won her MMA debut Thursday night with a third-round TKO over Brittney Elkin.
Elkin controlled most of the first two rounds, keeping Shields pinned on her back.
But in the third and final round, Shields reversed the story, got on top of Elkin and unloaded punches until the referee called the fight at 1:44 of the third round.
Fighting in the 155-pound women’s lightweight division, Shields (1-0 MMA) showed inexperience during takedowns but displayed power with punches. The punches came in a flurry in the third round when Shields got on top of Elkin and let her right hand go to work.
“I feel like I’ve been dreaming,’’ Shields said, beaming during a post-fight interview. “This is crazy.’’
Her second MMA fight is scheduled for August, and she is expected to fight twice next year and join the PFL’s regular season format in 2023. But on Thursday night, Shields was relishing the moment.