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Managing Your Expectations For Claressa Shields

In what was perhaps the most eagerly anticipated MMA debut of the year - the highly decorated former two time Olympic gold medalist and current two weight undisputed world champion Claressa Shields made her first dip into the sport of mixed martial arts with a third-round TKO victory over Brittney Elkin under the PFL banner.

And while the fight itself was a somewhat sloppy affair at times, at its very core, from my vantage point, we saw a very clear case of a great athlete proving her mettle and in many ways, overperforming - given the circumstances.

I saw quite a wide range of responses from the MMA community. Most gave credit where it was due - praising Shields for her hands, her cardio, her heart, while understanding how incredible it was to see a fighter with so little experience maintain such a cool head.

Because it wasn’t plain sailing by any means.