Claressa Shields is the most dominant fighter in women’s boxing. And that’s just not good enough for her.

She calls herself boxing’s GWOAT (Greatest Woman of All Time) and has so far at every stage of her young career backed up her proclamation. At age 26, Shields is already a two-time undisputed world boxing champion as well as a three-division champion. The Flint, MI, native has also earned two Olympic gold medals (2012, 2016) and has been named Sportswoman of the Year in both 2016 and 2019.

So why then, as arguably the face of women’s boxing, would Shields risk her GWOAT status by leaping into MMA? As Shields makes her PFL debut on June 10 in Atlantic City against Brittney Elkin, the opportunity to step outside her comfort zone and take on the challenge of becoming successful in two sports is a driving factor.

“It’s important for me to be recognized as a two-sport athlete because I want to show that I can do both,” says Shields, who also won 77 of 78 amateur fights. “After all my boxing accolades, there’s still a rule in which boxers don’t go to MMA. I want to change that — and show that I am the GWOAT of combat sports because I can do both.”

While she plans on making a full return to boxing, Shields is now in full-mode MMA training in Albuquerque, NM, at the Jackson Wink Academy, which has produced champions such as UFC superstar Jon Jones, and Holly Holm, also a former boxer who went on to win a UFC title.

In this week’s Winning Strategy, the champ explains how everyone can become multidimensional talents, as well as how defeat can become a key ingredient to success. Shields also shares who GWOATs look up to, and some famous words she lives by to this day.

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