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UFC president Dana White has never been one to hold his tongue.
At 2021 PFL Championship on Wednesday, Shields suffered her first professional MMA loss, and Paul quickly jumped on social media to throw a few insults in her direction while praising the efforts of her opponent Abigail Montes. White, who has immense respect for Shields and her combat sports career, took exception to someone questioning her journey.
“So Jake Paul calls Claressa Shields a loser?” White started in an interview with MMA Fighting. “Claressa Shields is nothing but a winner, who actually fought real people in her weight class, in her own age, in her own sport, and then goes over to MMA and tries to win a world title. That’s not a loser. That’s a winner.”
Shields, a three-division boxing world champion and Olympic gold medalist, recently made the decision to compete in MMA and boxing simultaneously. She competed in her first professional MMA bout in June under the PFL banner, defeating Brittney Elkin via TKO in the third round. Despite a split decision loss in the cage this week, she will step back into the boxing ring in December.
Paul has competed in four professional boxing matches, defeating YouTuber Ali Eson Gib, former NBA star Nate Robinson, now-retired MMA fighter Ben Askren, and former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley. While Paul’s fights have been more about the spectacle than proving he is an elite-level boxer, White wonders when that switch will happen.
“When are you gonna start fighting someone your own f*ckin’ age, your own weight, that actually fights in your own f*ckin’ sport that you’re claiming you’re in? Shut the f*ck up, you goofball. For you to call Claressa Shields a loser is f*cking unbelievable.
“I hope she knocks him out. I hope he runs into her somewhere and she knocks him the f*ck out.”