HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Abigail Montes spoiled the party for one of the biggest names in women’s combat sports today.
The 21-year-old Mexican fighter picked up a big upset win over two-time Olympic boxing gold medalist and decorated boxing champion, Claressa Shields, at the 2021 PFL Championship on Wednesday night. Montes (3-0) handed Shields (1-1) her first professional loss in MMA, outpointing her in a split decision.
Montes was considered an underdog by many heading into the fight, but she knew that the oddsmakers were making a big mistake.
“I just kept thinking, ‘They don’t know, they don’t know who she’s facing,’” Montes told MMA Junkie in Spanish. “Obviously they had me has the filler for her career and help her rise. But as soon as they offered us the opportunity, we spoke with my coach and team and we accepted it because we knew that we had the tools to get it done.
“It wasn’t just because it’s a big name and a big league, no. We knew from the very start that we were going to fight smart. We didn’t come here just to fight, we came here to win.”
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A lot was made about Shields’ prestigious and world-class boxing background. Montes was aware of the level of striking she was up against, but she was confident in winning the fight as it was contested in her MMA, not boxing.
“There were things here and there that I need to improve on, of course, but even then I’m really happy with what I did with my corner,” Montes explained. “It was a very smart fight where we didn’t risk too much. It was a smart fight and we went the safe route and that was all.
“I showed her what’s MMA, that it’s not just boxing. Whenever she wanted to box I would look for the takedown, pin her against the cage. She realized that and that’s when her desperation came from not being able to get out of those MMA areas.”
Montes told MMA Junkie she’s still under contract with PFL for another year and a half. She expects to be inserted into the next PFL women’s lightweight season for 2022.
“We’re going to get ready and what more motivation do you need?” Montes said. “We’re going to keep improving. We know that after this victory bigger challenges are going to come and we’re going to be ready for what’s coming.”
Photos: Best of 2021 PFL Championship
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