Editor’s note: This article was originally published at MMAJunkie.com.
Claressa Shields approves of Cris Cyborg’s venture into the boxing world.
The multiple world boxing champion thinks Cyborg has what it takes to not only hold her own in the sweet science, but actually fight and beat world-class opposition.
Shields, who returns to the boxing ring against Savannah Marshall on Sept. 10, is high on the decorated MMA fighter. In fact, she hoped Cyborg’s Sept. 25 boxing debut came against an opponent at a higher level than Simone Silva.
“I’ve been able to get inside the ring with Cris and I think she’s good enough to where she doesn’t have to fight somebody that’s 17-14,” Shields told MMA Junkie at a media scrum on Thursday. “I think she can take on some of the top girls. I think Cris Cyborg can beat Jessica McCaskill. I think she can go to 154 and do some things. Cris Cyborg can box.”
Cyborg is one of the most decorated female fighters in MMA history. She won championship belts in the UFC, Bellator, Invicta FC and Strikeforce. The 37-year-old has shown interest in a switch to boxing for many years, and she’ll finally get the chance on Sept. 25 in Brazil.
Shields has trained with Cyborg in the past and was very impressed not only by her technique, but how quickly she learned.
“We only sparred one time, I think like four rounds, but she learned a lot, and she adjusts very, very fast,” Shields said. “She asked me some of the best questions that any sparring partner ever asked me because she wanted to understand. And when I explained it to her, it was like her eyes opened up, and she was like, ‘Wow.’ I see that she’s added that to her MMA.”