It wasn’t that long ago that UFC superstar Conor McGregor was offering advice to boxing champion Claressa Shields about her new MMA career. Now, the 25-year-old American boxing champ is offering her own advice on how McGregor should move forward with his MMA career.
Shields revealed to Betway Insider that in order for McGregor to avenge his loss to Dustin Poirier the Irishman would need to “click on the everything switch” instead of maintaining his focus on boxing.
“Yeah, Conor can avenge it but it’s going to take some hard work. He’s been out of the MMA cage for a while, I know he had his last fight but before his last fight, he’d probably been out two or three years,” Shields said.
The boxing champ added, “But I tell you what, it’s hard to do, it’s hard to cut off the boxing switch and cut on the MMA switch.”
Poirier defeated McGregor by second-round stoppage at UFC 257 on January 23.
Shields on McGregor’s Biggest Problem at UFC 257
Shields believes McGregor relied too much on his boxing skills at UFC 257.
“I would say he needs to get out of the boxing mind frame to win that fight. He had his front foot too forward, too much weight on his leg, more like a boxer’s stance. It’s like he needs to get back to having light feet and [being] quick and explosive, using all his attributes, not just his punches; punches, kicks, knees, he needs to get back being creative,” Shields said.
Indeed, McGregor echoed that same sentiment in the aftermath of the loss.
McGregor shared he was too focused on boxing.
McGregor posted, “It’s what I get for picking this bout and opponent as a precursor to a boxing match against Pacman. I deserved to get the legs kicked off me going in with this thinking. This is not the game to play around with.”
Shields Recently Became Two-Sport Superstar
Of course, Shields just recently became a two-sport star.
The two-time Olympic boxing champ and three-division professional world titleholder made the switch over to MMA this year after signing a lucrative deal with the Professional Fighters League (PFL).
But Shields still plans on keeping her grip atop the women’s pound-for-pound list in boxing, too.
It means Shields knows exactly what it’s like to try to compete in two combat sports at an elite level at the same time.
“But I tell you what, it’s hard to do, it’s hard to cut off the boxing switch and cut on the MMA switch. When you’re doing both it’s hard, you have to be very mentally strong and say ‘this is MMA, everything goes’ and then you have to click that button and go to boxing and say ‘this is boxing, there are rules’ so it’s hard and I can just imagine that after being out of the cage for so long that his mind was adjusting and still looking to land those big shots,” Shields said.
So Shields believes it would be better for McGregor to strictly train for MMA until his assumed rematch with Poirier is over.
“He probably didn’t generate it in his mind, he needs to go to his mind and click on the ‘everything’ switch and use every part of the body as a weapon. I know he was boxing against Floyd but he needs to cut off the boxing switch and focus strictly on MMA for at least three or four months,” Shields said.
Shields Has Boxing and MMA Events Lined up for 2021
Shields will hope to do the same thing in her own life as she trades her boxing gloves for MMA gloves in 2021 for the first time.
Still, Shields’ next fight takes place inside a boxing ring.
“T-Rex” is set to face unbeaten IBF junior middleweight champion Marie-Eve Dicaire in a 154-pound unification bout on March 5. Shields-Dicaire is the main event of a historic all-women’s boxing pay-per-view card streamed by FITE.
The winner of the women’s superfight will walk away with Shields’ WBC and WBO titles, Dicaire’s IBF belt, and the vacant WBA crown.
That means Shields vs. Dicaire will crown the undisputed champion of the women’s 154-pound division.
In boxing’s four-belt era, only seven fighters have become the undisputed champion of a division, including Shields and two other women, Katie Taylor and Cecilia Braekhus.
The men to have achieved the honor are Bernard Hopkins, Jermain Taylor, Terence Crawford, and Oleksandr Usyk.
Shields, if victorious, will make history as the first man or woman to become the undisputed champion in two weight divisions during the four-belt era. Shields already netted undisputed status as the womens’ middleweight champ in 2019, and now she hopes to do the same at 154.
After that, Shields will enter an MMA cage for the first time for her PFL debut. That fight is currently being targeted for June.
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