Preview and prediction for Claressa Shields vs. Brittney Elkin at PFL 4.
The second half of the 2021 Professional Fighters League (PFL) season will kick off a PFL 4, but arguably the biggest talk surrounding the event involves someone who isn’t competing in ant of the season competitions. In fact, it involves someone who hasn’t competed in MMA at all prior.
PFL 4 will feature the professional MMA debut of women’s boxing champion Claressa Shields, as she takes on Brittney Elkin.
Shields, the only American boxer to win gold medals in back-to-back Olympic Games, is already a world champion in three different weight classes since her 2016 pro boxing debut. After becoming the undisputed female middleweight champion in 2019, Shields, who is a perfect 11-0 in boxing, became undisputed light middleweight champ earlier this year.
Elkin, who is 3-6 in MMA, hasn’t fought since a loss via injury TKO to Bobbi-Jo Dalziel in January 2019. Elkin fought defending PFL women’s lightweight champion Kayla Harrison in Harrison’s professional MMA debut, when she made the jump after winning gold in judo, in 2018. Harrison submitted her in the first round.
Who will win at PFL 4: Claressa Shields or Brittney Elkin?
Shields will have to deal with a three-inch height disadvantage in this one, but she has a lot more success than her MMA-experienced opponent.
Elkin may have been fighting professionally in MMA since 2014 and may have been with some noted names in women’s MMA today, but she doesn’t have the success like Shields has in her sport.
Of course, Elkin may have the grappling edge here, but Shields hasn’t been completely focused on her hands. She trains at one of the best MMA gyms, JacksonWink, alongside the likes of Jon Jones and Holly Holm. Talent like this, in addition to her already elite-level boxing, is just going to do wonders for her to get her MMA journey off on the right foot.
Whether or not Shields has long-term success in the sport remains to be seen. But her taking on someone who has been inactive in MMA, and has done a lot more losing than winning between MMA and grappling, will result in a successful first MMA fight.
Prediction: Shields via first-round KO/TKO