UFC President Dana White has given his opinion on the intense rivalry between Claressa Shields and celebrity boxer Jake Paul.
The rivalry between Shields and Paul has been heating up in recent days. It began when Shields refused to fight on the undercard of Paul, claiming she would "beat him up" if the pair met in the ring.
She later elaborated on her words, claiming Paul and his brother Logan were handed opportunities as a result of their large following on YouTube.
"I literally earned my spot and never was given an opportunity," she said. "That’s what pi**es me off. It’s not really Jake Paul, it’s more like how dare they give him the opportunity that I earned."
Shields then lost her second MMA bout this week, dropping a split decision to Abigail Montes. It was the first loss of her combat sport career.
Paul responded with ferocity, slamming Shields for her failure to defeat Montes.
"The truth hurts but it’s necessary," he wrote on Twitter. "[Claressa] Shields is a loser. In MMA, and even more so with her prima donna attitude. The fake always get exposed."
Ahead of UFC 267, White discussed the rivalry and made it clear whose corner he was in.
"He better be careful, she might knock him out," White told MMA Fighting’s Jose Youngs. "… So Jake Paul calls Claressa Shields a loser?
"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, okay?
"When are you gonna start fighting somebody your own f*cking age, your own weight, that actually fights in your own f*cking 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."
The 26-year-old Shields is the only boxer in history, female or male, to hold all four major world titles in boxing, simultaneously, in two weight classes.
She is also a double Olympic gold medallist, having triumphed at London 2012 and Rio 2016.Shields first made a foray into MMA in June, beating Brittney Elkin.
"Nothing but respect for Claressa Shields," White said. "To be looked at as the best female boxer and to come over here and start training and start to do this, not easy and nothing but respect for her.
"She lost a split decision? Which is even more impressive, in her second fight she loses a split decision, which means one of the judges thought she won the fight.
"Nothing but respect for her and she should just keep plugging along and keep training and doing what she’s doing. Obviously, she’s a very talented, gifted athlete.
"Crazy that anybody’s saying anything to her, that’s ridiculous."
Paul first entered the world of boxing in 2018, when he defeated British YouTuber Deji Olatunji in an amateur bout. He then turned professional in January 2020, beating another YouTuber, AnEsonGib.
The 24-year-old has won his remaining three fights, although they have been against a former NBA basketball player and an MMA fighter. He will come up against Love Island star Tommy Fury in December.News Now - Sport News