Multi-division boxing champion Claressa Shields is expected to compete in her second mixed martial arts fight at the upcoming PFL card scheduled for Aug. 19.
Multiple sources close to the situation confirmed the news to MMA Fighting on Monday following an initial report from boxing insider Dan Rafael.
Initially, Shields was expected to return to the cage on Aug. 27 but she’s now booked for the Aug. 19 card instead — and there’s a couple of reasons for the switch.
Additional sources confirmed current plans for Shields to compete on the same card as fellow two-time Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison, who is scheduled to face Genah Fabian in the opening round of the lightweight playoffs.
Undefeated in her career, Harrison is one of the faces of the PFL and she’ll look to continue her rampage through the lightweight division when she competes again on Aug. 19.
The second reason why Shields will be competing earlier comes down to programming because the PFL main card scheduled on Aug. 19 is slated to air live on ESPN. With a much bigger audience available on the main ESPN channel, it would only make sense for the PFL to promote two of the most marketable fighters on the entire roster with Shields and Harrison both competing that night.
As of now, Shields doesn’t have an opponent booked as she looks to move to 2-0 in her career following a comeback victory over Brittney Elkin in her debut back in June.
In that fight, Shields struggled to stay off her back during the first two rounds but then stormed back to deliver a third-round TKO to stop Elkin and earn the victory.
More fights for the PFL card on Aug. 19 are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.