16 January 2020

Bellator title challenger and former Strikeforce and UFC champion Cris Cyborg offers to train Claressa Shields but warns against premature Amanda Nunes bout

Cris Cyborg has offered to coach Claressa Shields following her stated ambition to become a two-sport star in making the move from boxing to MMA.

The former UFC and Strikeforce champion said she would happily train Shields in her transition but has warned her that taking on Amanda Nunes in the near future could be too much too soon.

"If it was my athlete, I would make some fights in MMA first," warned Cyborg.

She added: "I think with everything, she can be great and people are going to love her too. 

"If I'm able to help her - if I have the opportunity - for sure."

24-year-old Shields attended UFC 245 last month with an eye on setting up both boxing and MMA fights with Nunes. Cyborg admitted she had a call from Shields not long after, when Shields reiterated her ambitions in MMA.

Nunes, however, has made her thoughts on the matter known promising she would "wrestle the s**t" out of the boxing champion if they ever fought in the cage together.

Shields' manager is supportive of her ambitions but acknowledged she would need to take time before taking on the big names.

Cyborg agreed: “I think we need to see how fast she can catch (on to) stuff.

“If we train together, how she practices and how fast she gets it. But young kids ... learn it very fast. She can use her boxing, which is amazing. She just needs some details and learn her jiu-jitsu and wrestling.”

President of the UFC Dana White has admitted he is "not opposed" to pairing Shields against Nunes but Cyborg believes an MMA fight is more likely than a boxing match.

She said: if Amanda fights Claressa in the UFC, Amanda won’t have a choice,” Cyborg said. “She has to fight Claressa.”

Cyborg has now agreed that if Shields can secure the fight, she will support her.

“A young girl likes to do what she wants, and if (Shields) wants to fight Amanda and beat her, she should follow her heart and do her best,” she said.

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