Claressa Shields, a new four-part, all-access series, premiering exclusively on ESPN+ in June, will give fans a behind-the-scenes look at Shields’ quest to become the greatest two-sport athlete of all time, simultaneously maintaining her dominance in boxing while making her debut in mixed martial arts.
A two-time boxing Olympic Gold Medalist and the first professional boxer – male or female – to win undisputed world titles in two separate weight divisions in the four-belt era, Shields has now set her sights on an MMA championship as part of her ambitious goal to be recognized as the undisputed, greatest woman in combat sports.
From Shields’ humble beginnings as a young girl who discovered boxing in a tough Flint, Michigan neighborhood, to winning Olympic Gold in London and Rio, to establishing herself as the No. 1 pound-for-pound female boxing champion, Claressa Shields tells her unique and inspiring story as she continues to rise.
The first episode of the series, premiering Thursday, June 3, captures Shields as she prepares to make her MMA debut with the Professional Fighters League in a lightweight bout versus Brittney Elkin at PFL 4 on Thursday, June 10, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. PFL 4 will be live on ESPN+ at 6 p.m. ET and on ESPN2 at 10 p.m. ET.
Since announcing her decision to pursue an MMA title, Shields has been training at the famed Jackson Wink MMA Academy, where former UFC champions Holly Holm and Jon Jones (the UFC’s No. 1 ranked pound-for-pound fighter) train with Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn.
“Claressa has accomplished so much as an athlete already and her life story is both authentic and compelling,” said Brian Lockhart, senior vice president, original content and ESPN Films. “We know she’s just getting started, and this new series is a chance for all of us to join Claressa on her journey and to see up close what drives the ambition of a world champion who is reaching for all-time greatness.”