Claressa Shields showed her punching power by stopping Brittney Elkin with a barrage of punches in the third round of her MMA debut in New Jersey.
The 26-year-old American, who is one of the biggest stars in women’s boxing, overcame a difficult career start in the Professional Fight League as she was forced to the ground for two rounds before delivering a finish explosive.
Shields turned her attention to MMA after becoming a two-time undisputed champion in March and Elkin hit her with punches after getting a full mount in the first round.
Elkin then withstood a flurry of fire in the second for Shields, who had to drop an armband after being forced down again.
But Shields fended off another takedown attempt in the third, responding with a torrent of heavy shots before referee Gasper Oliver brushed him aside.
“I feel like I’m dreaming,” Shields said PFL. “It’s crazy.”
“I have never doubted myself winning a boxing match in my life. MMA it’s like I could lose that first fight.
“I just had an attitude of never giving up every round.
“She put me on the ground, but she couldn’t hurt me. Her punches didn’t hurt me. She tried to put me in an armband and it didn’t hurt.
“I might have lost those two rounds, but I’m not losing this fight.”