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Savannah Marshall wins MMA debut and calls for unique Claressa Shields rematch

Savannah Marshall made a successful debut in mixed martial arts at the weekend, stopping her opponent in the first round.

Marshall, who is boxing’s undisputed women’s super-middleweight champion, beat Mirela Vargas via TKO at 4:27 of the opening round.

The fight took place in Newcastle, as part of a Professional Fighters League event, and Marshall was forced to show off more than just her striking.

The Hartlepool fighter, 33, was taken down and subjected to ground strikes early in the bout, but she scrambled well to stand. She was later taken down again, but most of the round played out on the feet, where Marshall pressed forward and overwhelmed Vargas with punches.

The fight ended with Marshall pouring on strikes as the Brazilian (1-3) shelled up by the fence.

Marshall then called out her boxing rival Claressa Shields for a contest in MMA.

Shields, who handed Marshall the sole loss of her professional boxing career in 2022, has fought three times in MMA, going 2-1 in the PFL.

Marshall previously outpointed Shields in an amateur boxing match in 2012. To this day, the Briton remains the only fighter to have beaten the American, 29, in boxing.

In their pro rematch in 2022, Shields won on points to become the undisputed women’s middleweight champion.