Claressa Shields is returning the favor to Conor McGregor.
Shields is currently working on a part-time transition from boxing-to-mixed martial arts, reverse order of McGregor's brushes with the sweet science. Shields once received advice from McGregor in the comments section of a training video. In a new interview, the women's boxing superstar shared what it meant to get words of encouragement from "The Notorious" one.
“It was very welcoming. To me, Jon Jones is the GOAT in MMA, but Conor McGregor was considered the GOAT once upon a time too and they’re both great in their own right. I just feel when Conor reached out, I feel like in a way he actually cared and he was wishing me good luck and that’s what I appreciated most," Shields told Marc Gatford via the Betway Insider blog. "He didn’t have to give me any advice, he could have just seen it and kept on but instead he was like ‘I’m going to give out this advice’, and it was great; I took it, I use it and hopefully everything goes as it’s supposed to go.”
Shields offered some advice in return to McGregor following the latter's second-round knockout loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 257.
"Yeah, Conor can avenge it but it’s going to take some hard work. He’s been out of the MMA cage for a while, I know he had his last fight but before his last fight he’d probably been out two or three years," she said. "I would say he needs to get out of the boxing mind frame to win that fight. He had his front foot too forward, too much weight on his leg, more like a boxer’s stance. It’s like he needs to get back to having light feet and [being] quick and explosive, using all his attributes, not just his punches; punches, kicks, knees, he needs to get back being creative."
"But I tell you what, it’s hard to do, it’s hard to cut off the boxing switch and cut on the MMA switch. When you’re doing both it’s hard, you have to be very mentally strong and say ‘this is MMA, everything goes’ and then you have to click that button and go to boxing and say ‘this is boxing, there are rules’ so it’s hard and I can just imagine that after being out of the cage for so long that his mind was adjusting and still looking to land those big shots," Shields continued. "He probably didn’t generate it in his mind, he needs to go his mind and click on the ‘everything’ switch and use every part of the body as a weapon. I know he was boxing against Floyd but he needs to cut off the boxing switch and focus strictly on MMA for at least three or four months.”
Shields also dished on her previous chats with UFC President Dana White about Zuffa Boxing.
"I was in training camp, we had contracts signed, everything was good. I don’t know exactly what happened, I actually had a conversation with Dana after everything got cancelled and he said he was sorry that everything fell through and it was something about the bubble. It was a bubble concern," she shared. "I didn’t ask him the details, I was so disappointed, I just kinda had to move onto the next thing but that’s what happened, something to do with the bubble. But contracts were signed, opponents were picked, another all women's card."
"I don’t know whether he’s going through with that [Zuffa Boxing] he may be taking a step back, figuring everything out, I really don’t have any idea what’s going on with that or if he’s still going to do that, but if he does, of course, I’ll be super interested to talk with him and have a great conversation with him of course, because me and him are actually cool," Shields said. "But I have no idea, that’s for him to let us know.”