In her second professional MMA fight, Claressa Shields impressed but was not able to take down Abigail Montes during the PFL Championship Finals in Florida.
An undisputed boxing champion, Shields would lose to Montes via split decision. Improving her ground game compared to her last fight against Brittney Elkin, Shields' takedown defense looked impressive. Montes, however, was too powerful.
Round one started off with both trying to use leg strikes. As the round went on, Shields would try and land key strikes to knock Montes out. She would land crisp shots, and would even back Montes against the cage. Montes would hold her own and was waiting for her moment.
Shields' takedown defense continued to look competent in round two until Montes landed one that had the pro-Shields crowd in a frenzy. The power was also still there for Shields, landing a right that was reminiscent of her dominant work in the boxing ring.
Wisely keeping it in the middle of the cage to start round three, Shields would once again try and land wild shots. A right strike connected, but Montes would continue to play with the ground game. Shields would get it to the ground herself, and ended up bringing Montes back up. Montes would end up taking advantage of another wild swing and took her down to the mat.
On top, Montes would swing away at Shields until the final bell rang.
In total, Shields and Montes both had 47 strikes, with 31 ground strikes for the latter on two takedowns. Shields' main form of power came from her punches, with 32 strikes.
Shields has been undefeated in boxing since her debut in 2016. She is set to compete in the ring in December, defending her WBA, WBC, IBF, and The Ring Middleweight Titles against Emo Kozin. The win was the third of Montes' career.