Claressa Shields achieves historic victory in Saudi Arabia’s first female professional MMA bout

Undisputed boxing world champion Claressa Shields secured her second triumph in MMA with a hard-fought split decision win over Kelsey De Santis in Riyadh. This historic matchup marked the inaugural professional MMA bout in Saudi Arabia featuring two women.
Boxing Claressa Shields MMA

Shields, a three-weight world champion in boxing, displayed visible emotion upon being confirmed as the victor. Reflecting on the challenges faced during her training camp, she expressed, “There were days when I was literally in tears. I didn’t want to go back because it was so hard.”

The MMA spectacle unfolded 18 months after British fighter Ramla Ali and the Dominican Republic’s Crystal Garcia Nova made history as the first female boxers to compete in a professional fight in the kingdom.

Shields participated in the undercard of the Professional Fighters League’s champion versus champion event, a platform where Bellator’s best square off against the PFL’s finest.

Despite recent reforms, women’s rights remain a significant concern in the country.