MMA newcomer, Abigail Montes, has the honor of handing Olympic boxing champion, Claressa Shields her first MMA loss when she defeated Shields via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) during the main card of the PFL Championships on Wednesday, Oct. 27 in Hollywood, FL.
Read the full play-by-play below.
Shields vs. Montes started out slow with the women trading leg strikes to open the round. Then out of nowhere Shields unloaded a barrage of strikes and then clinched with Montes against the cage. Montes had her arms completely around Shields and then reversed the position putting Shields’ back against the fence. It looked like Montes was trying to take the boxing champ to the canvas but Shields wasn’t having it. The crowd wasn’t either and began booing the lack of action with a little over a minute left in the first round. The rounded ended with Shields against the cage and Montes landing a hard right.
In the second Montes began peppering the legs of Shields before the Olympian unloaded on the strikes and they clinched again. Dejavu of the first round almost to the T. This time Shields, with her back against the cage, was able to land some strikes to the head of Montes who slowly working her way into a better position. They broke apart and traded shots again, both women getting in their own hard shots. Montes went for the takedown and finally goit it putting Shields down in the center of the cage and then leading her to the fence to do better work. On her back, Shields was peppered with ground and pound, something she was familiar with in her MMA debut. Shields tried to work herself back into a standing position but with less than a minute left in the ground, couldn’t break apart from the clinch so it was all for nothing.
In the third, potentially with a round apiece, both girls were searching for a finish or at the very least a dominant round. Shields came out hot, getting Montes with strikes and setting her briefly on her butt. Montes recovered and put Shields in the clinch again, controlling her hands. Shields broke away from the cage walls to trip Montes and they separated. Just under three minutes remained in the round and Montes lands a huge takedown, putting Shields on her back in the center of the cage. The crowd began to boo again. The round ended with Montes on top, landing small but effective strikes on Shields, who was unable to answer back in time.
They went to the scorecards, Montes a clear winner on MMA Weekly’s scorecards.
Shields was stepping into the cage for the second time in her new MMA career. She defeated her first opponent after weathering a storm when she secured a third-round TKO of Brittany Elkin in June.
Montes was looking for her third straight win, having secured back-to-back wins under the iKon Fighting Federation and Combate Global banners previously.
This fight wasn’t part of the six championship fights but was given top billing anyway due to Shields’ following in combat sports.