Fury, McGregor, Joshua, Rousey: Claressa Shields ranks the world's best fighters

Split image of Tyson Fury, Claressa Shields and Conor McGregor

Boxing legend Claressa Shields has revealed where she would place the best combat sports stars on the planet in a three-tier ranking system.

The self-proclaimed GWOAT has doffed her cap to her fellow fighting icons and ranked them in either top tier, middle tier, or low tier based on their achievements.

Here’s how the history-making world champion rated the likes of Tyson Fury, Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey.

Shields appeared on an episode of Channel 4’s YouTube segment ‘Don’t Make Me Choose’, where she started off by ranking herself in the top tier for boxing, but mid tier for MMA fighting.

Top tier fighters

The two-time Olympic gold medallist placed Ronda Rousey in the top tier, stating she “opened the door” for women in MMA.

Rousey became the first female fighter to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame and she is now enjoying her second stint with WWE. She is the only woman in history to win a Championship with both UFC and WWE.

“She’s really the GOAT, I like her,” Shields said.

Ronda Rousey

Holly Holm, Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano rounded off Shields’ top tier female fighters. The US star expressed her excitement for the upcoming blockbuster clash between Taylor and Serrano at Madison Square Garden and lauded them both as world class boxers.

Taylor is currently the undefeated, undisputed lightweight champion and Serrano is the unified featherweight champion.

Shields also paid homage to her friend Holm, who issued Rousey her first ever MMA loss and is the only fighter to hold a world boxing title and a UFC title.

Holly Holm

Former two-time heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, and Tyson Fury, who is currently ranked as the world’s best active heavyweight by ESPN and BoxRec, also made the cut for top tier.

“He moves around, he jabs, he talks a good game and people love him,” Shields said of two-time heavyweight champion Fury.


The GWOAT placed Kayla Harrison and Laila Ali on the cusp of top tier. For Harrison, her back-to-back Olympic gold medals put her among the best of the best, but Shields bumped her down a notch on the grounds that she believes she is still yet to face seriously tough opponents.

Shields placed Ali in between top and mid tier after stating she believes the retired super middleweight and light heavyweight champion does not support other female fighters.

“She’s not GOATed in my opinion but she has the potential if she ever wanted to give women’s boxing a push.”

Mid tier fighters

The first name Shields placed in the middle bracket was Conor McGregor.

Despite The Notorious being one of the world’s most recognised fighters and the highest paid athlete according to Forbes, Shields bumped him to mid tier based on his form in the last five years.

“He used to be on top, he talks a great game, he’s a great fighter, I just think I would love to see him come back to MMA and be great again. I haven’t seen him be great since before [Floyd] Mayweather.”

McGregor faced Mayweather Jr in a blockbuster boxing match in 2017 and was defeated via TKO in the tenth round.

Shields also placed Khabib Nurmagomedov in the mid tier.

While she applauded his undefeated MMA career, she knocked him down due to his controversial take on female fighters.

“He’s got a lot against women fighters and I don’t like that,” Shields said.

Khabib decided not to feature women’s divisions in his new MMA promotion due to an apparent lack of  top-level female fighters. He also faced backlash when he slammed ring girls for being “pointless” last year.

Low tier fighters

Unsurprisingly, Jake Paul was ranked the lowest on Shields’ list but was placed between middle and low tier, rather than rock bottom.

“I don’t think he’s that good of a boxer,” she said of The Problem Child, who burst onto the professional fighting scene in 2020.

The two have been in a war of words for several months after Paul called her a “loser” following her PFL loss back in October.

Shields had previously slammed “disrespectful” suggestions for her to fight on a Paul undercard and claimed she could beat up the former YouTube star.

The GWOAT said she would grade Paul with a C because she respects the work he is doing with Amanda Serrano to help grow women’s boxing.

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