Claressa Shields has returned the favour by offering some advice to Conor McGregor.
Conor McGregor reached out to undefeated boxer Claressa Shields before Christmas with some words of advice when the 25-year-old began her transition to mixed martial arts training.
After Shields began working with esteemed gym, JacksonWink MMA, McGregor gave his input and explained the areas that her new coaches ought to focus on.
Shields appreciated McGregor’s words of wisdom and the two-time Olympic gold medallist believes they came from a place of kindness.
“It was very welcoming,” Shields told Betway. “To me, Jon Jones is the GOAT in MMA, but Conor was considered the GOAT once upon a time too and they’re both great in their own right.
Little preview of @Claressashields exploring her MMA standup abilities with @mmacoachwink… and yes… there will be plenty of wrestling and grappling education with @GregJacksonMMA and the coaching staff! It will be an interesting project for everyone involved! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/O5O9RZQ2YD
— JacksonWinkMMA (@JacksonWinkMMA) December 5, 2020
“I just feel when Conor reached out, I feel like in a way he actually cared and he was wishing me good luck and that’s what I appreciated most.
“He didn’t have to give me any advice, he could have just seen it and kept on but instead he was like ‘I’m going to give out this advice’, and it was great. I took it, I use it and hopefully everything goes as it’s supposed to go.”
McGregor has continued to flirt with a return to the boxing ring and he admitted that his boxing-heavy approach against Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 left him open to the calf kicks that ultimately proved to be the deciding factor in the main event.
With a rubber match against Poirier reportedly in the works, Shields has recommended that McGregor should return to the more diverse approach to striking that saw him rise to the pinnacle of MMA.
Shields has told McGregor to completely shelve his boxing thoughts and commit to exclusive MMA focus if he is to avenge his recent defeat to Poirier.
“Yeah, Conor McGregor can avenge it but it’s going to take some hard work,” Shields continued. “He’s been out of the MMA cage for a while, I know he had his last fight but before his last fight he’d probably been out two or three years.
“I would say he needs to get out of the boxing mind frame to win that fight. He had his front foot too forward, too much weight on his leg, more like a boxer’s stance. It’s like he needs to get back to having light feet and [being] quick and explosive, using all his attributes, not just his punches; punches, kicks, knees, he needs to get back being creative.
“But I tell you what, it’s hard to do. It’s hard to cut off the boxing switch and cut on the MMA switch.
“When you’re doing both it’s hard, you have to be very mentally strong and say ‘this is MMA, everything goes’ and then you have to click that button and go to boxing and say ‘this is boxing, there are rules’, so I can just imagine that after being out of the cage for so long that his mind was adjusting and still looking to land those big shots.
“He probably didn’t generate it in his mind, he needs to go his mind and click on the ‘everything’ switch and use every part of the body as a weapon. I know he was boxing against Floyd but he needs to cut off the boxing switch and focus strictly on MMA for at least three or four months.”