Claressa Shields explains outrage over suggestion she fight on Jake Paul undercard: ‘That’s trash’

Claressa Shields | Esther Lin, MMA FightingClaressa Shields has no problem fighting on the same card as Jake Paul. But there’s no way she’ll let him headline over her. Appearing on The MMA Hour, Shields was asked about comments she made at a PFL press conference in September regarding if she would ever take part in an event headlined by YouTuber-turned-boxing star Jake Paul. At the time, Shields warned not to “disrespect” her and that she would never fight on a Paul undercard. She elaborated on that response on Monday. “What has Jake Paul done that’s so great to where he gets to be the main event pay-per-view on Showtime, but I don’t?” Shields said. “I gotta fight under him. That’s the thing, it’s like I actually earned my opportunity. They’re just giving it to him. They’re like, ‘Hey, you’re Jake Paul, you’ve got a million subscribers on YouTube, you and your brother get to fight main event on Showtime. “That’s trash. I literally earned my spot and never was given an opportunity. That’s what pisses me off. It’s not really Jake Paul, it’s more like how dare they give him the opportunity that I earned. I fought the main event on Showtime six times, sold out arenas for Showtime, and still would get the ‘We don’t think you’re big enough to fight on pay-per-view.’ Get out of here. It’s crap. That’s why I would never fight on the undercard of him or nobody else who haven’t earned it. If they’re not a world champion, Errol Spence, Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, Terence Crawford, even Shakur Stevenson, if they not under them I’m not fighting on no undercard of no other men.” Jake Paul and brother Logan have become two of the biggest names in boxing in the past couple of years, with Jake recently scoring high-profile wins over former MMA champions Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley, and Logan going the distance with boxing legend Floyd Mayweather in an eight-round exhibition bout this past June. Both Paul brothers’ recent bouts took place on Showtime pay-per-view. While Shields has become one of the biggest names in boxing today—and unquestionably the most popular women’s boxer—the undisputed two-division champion and two-time gold medalist is currently focused on MMA. She makes her second appearance in the cage against Abigail Montes (2-0) at the 2021 PFL Championship event this Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Shields admitted that as passionate as she is about her new calling, it’s possible that she might not have crossed over were it not for the greater pay and promotion that women receive in MMA. However, a callout from UFC star Amanda Nunes also provided motivation. “You probably right about that,” Shields said when asked if she would have stayed in boxing with the proper compensation. “But I know also too I didn’t think about doing MMA until I heard Amanda Nunes say that she would choke the sh*t out of me. Once she said that, it lit a different fire in me. I’ve had girls say stuff about me in boxing, but when Amanda Nunes said it, not only did she say it but she could actually do it. She said she’d choke the s*it out of me. She said she’d never get in a boxing ring with me, but she’d choke me. I was just like, at the point where I am and the stuff that I know and as tough as I am, I could still get in there with her and she would still be able to choke me. And that didn’t make me feel good. “So she’s a big part of my motivation in becoming a full mixed martial artist. Learning everything, being a complete MMA fighter, not just relying on boxing but learning everything, she’s a huge part of that because I actually like the way she fights and I wanted to fight against her in boxing, but now I would like to get good enough to where I could grace the cage with her and me and her could fight and I could see if she gon’ choke me.” Following her come-from-behind victory over Brittney Elkins in her debut, Shields has been modest about her projections as far as when she expects to compete for a major title. Her bouts are currently taking place outside of the PFL’s tournament system, but she hopes to take part in one by 2023. Shields made it clear that she’s focusing on picking up a league championship first before seriously considering a bout with “The Lioness.” “All of this is just to become PFL champion, let’s just keep that first,” Shields said. “And then on the way of becoming PFL champion, being good enough to when people say Claressa Shields vs. Amanda Nunes, people don’t just say, ‘Oh, all Amanda has to do is go in there and get on the ground and choke her out.’ “The goal is to be able to say this is going to be a very, very great fight between the both of these two and Claressa Shields learned a lot of MMA and became a great mixed martial artist in three to four years and she’s taking a huge jump in fighting Amanda, but the fight is gonna be huge. That’s what I want, that’s the overall thing, but first things first, getting good enough to become PFL champion. Let’s not skip that part.”

Claressa Shields explains outrage over suggestion she fight on Jake Paul undercard: ‘That’s trash’
Claressa Shields | Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Claressa Shields has no problem fighting on the same card as Jake Paul. But there’s no way she’ll let him headline over her.

Appearing on The MMA Hour, Shields was asked about comments she made at a PFL press conference in September regarding if she would ever take part in an event headlined by YouTuber-turned-boxing star Jake Paul. At the time, Shields warned not to “disrespect” her and that she would never fight on a Paul undercard. She elaborated on that response on Monday.

“What has Jake Paul done that’s so great to where he gets to be the main event pay-per-view on Showtime, but I don’t?” Shields said. “I gotta fight under him. That’s the thing, it’s like I actually earned my opportunity. They’re just giving it to him. They’re like, ‘Hey, you’re Jake Paul, you’ve got a million subscribers on YouTube, you and your brother get to fight main event on Showtime.

“That’s trash. I literally earned my spot and never was given an opportunity. That’s what pisses me off. It’s not really Jake Paul, it’s more like how dare they give him the opportunity that I earned. I fought the main event on Showtime six times, sold out arenas for Showtime, and still would get the ‘We don’t think you’re big enough to fight on pay-per-view.’ Get out of here. It’s crap. That’s why I would never fight on the undercard of him or nobody else who haven’t earned it. If they’re not a world champion, Errol Spence, Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, Terence Crawford, even Shakur Stevenson, if they not under them I’m not fighting on no undercard of no other men.”

The PFL Championship goes down Wednesday!","description":"Six new PFL champions will be crowned- LIVE HERE - on Wednesday in Florida.","label":"Watch live stream here","url":"https://go.web.plus.espn.com/c/482924/1038726/9070?subId1=MMAFighting&subId2=Combat&subId3=042321&sharedid=SBNation"}'>

Jake Paul and brother Logan have become two of the biggest names in boxing in the past couple of years, with Jake recently scoring high-profile wins over former MMA champions Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley, and Logan going the distance with boxing legend Floyd Mayweather in an eight-round exhibition bout this past June. Both Paul brothers’ recent bouts took place on Showtime pay-per-view.

While Shields has become one of the biggest names in boxing today—and unquestionably the most popular women’s boxer—the undisputed two-division champion and two-time gold medalist is currently focused on MMA. She makes her second appearance in the cage against Abigail Montes (2-0) at the 2021 PFL Championship event this Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Shields admitted that as passionate as she is about her new calling, it’s possible that she might not have crossed over were it not for the greater pay and promotion that women receive in MMA. However, a callout from UFC star Amanda Nunes also provided motivation.

“You probably right about that,” Shields said when asked if she would have stayed in boxing with the proper compensation. “But I know also too I didn’t think about doing MMA until I heard Amanda Nunes say that she would choke the sh*t out of me. Once she said that, it lit a different fire in me. I’ve had girls say stuff about me in boxing, but when Amanda Nunes said it, not only did she say it but she could actually do it. She said she’d choke the s*it out of me. She said she’d never get in a boxing ring with me, but she’d choke me. I was just like, at the point where I am and the stuff that I know and as tough as I am, I could still get in there with her and she would still be able to choke me. And that didn’t make me feel good.

“So she’s a big part of my motivation in becoming a full mixed martial artist. Learning everything, being a complete MMA fighter, not just relying on boxing but learning everything, she’s a huge part of that because I actually like the way she fights and I wanted to fight against her in boxing, but now I would like to get good enough to where I could grace the cage with her and me and her could fight and I could see if she gon’ choke me.”

Following her come-from-behind victory over Brittney Elkins in her debut, Shields has been modest about her projections as far as when she expects to compete for a major title. Her bouts are currently taking place outside of the PFL’s tournament system, but she hopes to take part in one by 2023.

Shields made it clear that she’s focusing on picking up a league championship first before seriously considering a bout with “The Lioness.”

“All of this is just to become PFL champion, let’s just keep that first,” Shields said. “And then on the way of becoming PFL champion, being good enough to when people say Claressa Shields vs. Amanda Nunes, people don’t just say, ‘Oh, all Amanda has to do is go in there and get on the ground and choke her out.’

“The goal is to be able to say this is going to be a very, very great fight between the both of these two and Claressa Shields learned a lot of MMA and became a great mixed martial artist in three to four years and she’s taking a huge jump in fighting Amanda, but the fight is gonna be huge. That’s what I want, that’s the overall thing, but first things first, getting good enough to become PFL champion. Let’s not skip that part.”

Source : MMA Fighting More   

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Petr Yan: After I win at UFC 267, everyone ‘will know who here is really champ’

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLCPetr Yan is out to make a statement against Cory Sandhagen. The former UFC bantamweight champion returns Saturday in the co-main event of UFC 267 to fight for the first time since dropping his belt in controversial fashion to Aljamain Sterling in March. With Sterling still sidelined due to injury for the foreseeable future, an interim bantamweight title will be up for grabs in Abu Dhabi. And Yan knows well enough that the unusual circumstances around the current 135-pound title picture give his showdown with Sandhagen quite a bit more significance than the UFC’s normal interim title bouts. “I beat [Sandhagen] on Saturday, every guy will know who here is really champ,” Yan said in English without the help of a translator on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour. The 135-pound division has been stuck in neutral since Yan collided with Sterling at UFC 259. Back in March, Yan was ahead on the scorecards and had seized momentum late in the fourth round when he unloaded an illegal knee to Sterling’s head while the American was a grounded fighter. The incident lead to a DQ win for Sterling and caused Yan to become the only athlete in UFC history to lose a title by disqualification. Sterling underwent neck surgery following the incident and remains medically unfit to compete. He was supposed to rematch Yan at UFC 267 but ended up withdrawing last month due to lingering issues and ultimately was replaced on short notice by Sandhagen. The situation between Sterling and Yan has been litigated and relitigated hundreds of times since March, and Yan insisted that he won’t do it again this week with a tough challenge like Sandhagen sitting in front of him. But Yan also made it clear that he puts the blame on Sterling as to why the UFC bantamweight division finds itself in the mess it’s in now. “It’s just his decision to make this surgery right now,” Yan said through a translator. “I don’t know why he hadn’t done it earlier or maybe later in his career, but now the whole division is in a mess. When people have neck pain, I don’t see them sparring without any headgear. It’s just ridiculous.” Despite his convoluted history with Sterling, Yan said he will “1,000 percent” consider himself to be the true UFC bantamweight champion with a win on Saturday. But he’s also not there just yet. “I don’t want to consider myself as a champion,” Yan said. “I don’t have a belt. Right now I’m the No. 1-ranked bantamweight in the division and I’m ready to prove that I’m the best in the division. “The only thing I lost [after UFC 259] was maybe money, but everything else is still with me — desire to win the belt, desire to move forward to winning, and I’m still hungry. So everything else is the same.” Altogether, Yan was in good spirits Monday night in Abu Dhabi. He indicated that he’s content with where things ended up despite his long road since March’s loss. He felt that the judges were correct to award T.J. Dillashaw a win over Sandhagen in July’s controversial split decision between the two bantamweights, but he knows that Sandhagen was still the best option available for UFC 267 considering Dillashaw’s own injury woes. Yan also scoffed at the public attempts of bantamweight prospect Sean O’Malley to secure the interim title fight before the UFC settled on Sandhagen. “Right now he knows it’s impossible for him to get this fight, so everything he says now is just for attention. It’s just to be in media,” Yan said of O’Malley. “But the only reason why he’s in the media is only the color of his hair. “It’s the main reason he gets attention, his crazy hair and his crazy talk. He’s not even in the top 15.” As for Sandhagen, the American has won seven of his nine UFC appearances and remains one of the most well-rounded contenders at 135 pounds. The 29-year-old has been hailed by many observers as a future champion of the division. But even if Saturday’s matchup looks daunting, Yan hasn’t found much to be concerned about when he sees his foe. “He’s a very good and versatile fighter. He’s good everywhere. But in every aspect that he’s good at, I am better than him,” Yan said. “So in wrestling or striking, I’m ready to surprise him. “My style is to always go in there and look for the finish, and I don’t think he’s the one who drag me into the deep waters. I’m the one who’s going to drag him into the deep waters. And five rounds is my distance.”

Petr Yan: After I win at UFC 267, everyone ‘will know who here is really champ’
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Petr Yan is out to make a statement against Cory Sandhagen.

The former UFC bantamweight champion returns Saturday in the co-main event of UFC 267 to fight for the first time since dropping his belt in controversial fashion to Aljamain Sterling in March. With Sterling still sidelined due to injury for the foreseeable future, an interim bantamweight title will be up for grabs in Abu Dhabi. And Yan knows well enough that the unusual circumstances around the current 135-pound title picture give his showdown with Sandhagen quite a bit more significance than the UFC’s normal interim title bouts.

“I beat [Sandhagen] on Saturday, every guy will know who here is really champ,” Yan said in English without the help of a translator on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour.

The 135-pound division has been stuck in neutral since Yan collided with Sterling at UFC 259. Back in March, Yan was ahead on the scorecards and had seized momentum late in the fourth round when he unloaded an illegal knee to Sterling’s head while the American was a grounded fighter. The incident lead to a DQ win for Sterling and caused Yan to become the only athlete in UFC history to lose a title by disqualification.

Sterling underwent neck surgery following the incident and remains medically unfit to compete. He was supposed to rematch Yan at UFC 267 but ended up withdrawing last month due to lingering issues and ultimately was replaced on short notice by Sandhagen.

The situation between Sterling and Yan has been litigated and relitigated hundreds of times since March, and Yan insisted that he won’t do it again this week with a tough challenge like Sandhagen sitting in front of him. But Yan also made it clear that he puts the blame on Sterling as to why the UFC bantamweight division finds itself in the mess it’s in now.

“It’s just his decision to make this surgery right now,” Yan said through a translator. “I don’t know why he hadn’t done it earlier or maybe later in his career, but now the whole division is in a mess. When people have neck pain, I don’t see them sparring without any headgear. It’s just ridiculous.”

Despite his convoluted history with Sterling, Yan said he will “1,000 percent” consider himself to be the true UFC bantamweight champion with a win on Saturday.

But he’s also not there just yet.

“I don’t want to consider myself as a champion,” Yan said. “I don’t have a belt. Right now I’m the No. 1-ranked bantamweight in the division and I’m ready to prove that I’m the best in the division.

“The only thing I lost [after UFC 259] was maybe money, but everything else is still with me — desire to win the belt, desire to move forward to winning, and I’m still hungry. So everything else is the same.”

Altogether, Yan was in good spirits Monday night in Abu Dhabi. He indicated that he’s content with where things ended up despite his long road since March’s loss. He felt that the judges were correct to award T.J. Dillashaw a win over Sandhagen in July’s controversial split decision between the two bantamweights, but he knows that Sandhagen was still the best option available for UFC 267 considering Dillashaw’s own injury woes.

Yan also scoffed at the public attempts of bantamweight prospect Sean O’Malley to secure the interim title fight before the UFC settled on Sandhagen.

“Right now he knows it’s impossible for him to get this fight, so everything he says now is just for attention. It’s just to be in media,” Yan said of O’Malley. “But the only reason why he’s in the media is only the color of his hair.

“It’s the main reason he gets attention, his crazy hair and his crazy talk. He’s not even in the top 15.”

As for Sandhagen, the American has won seven of his nine UFC appearances and remains one of the most well-rounded contenders at 135 pounds. The 29-year-old has been hailed by many observers as a future champion of the division. But even if Saturday’s matchup looks daunting, Yan hasn’t found much to be concerned about when he sees his foe.

“He’s a very good and versatile fighter. He’s good everywhere. But in every aspect that he’s good at, I am better than him,” Yan said. “So in wrestling or striking, I’m ready to surprise him.

“My style is to always go in there and look for the finish, and I don’t think he’s the one who drag me into the deep waters. I’m the one who’s going to drag him into the deep waters. And five rounds is my distance.”

Source : MMA Fighting More   

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