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Savannah Marshall could get her revenge against Claressa Shields in an MMA contest, says Dakota Ditcheva

MMA fighter Dakota Ditcheva considers how Savannah Marshall could match up with Claressa Shields in an MMA bout rather than a boxing match: "She's just a natural fighter and a good athlete"; plus Peter Fury, Marshall's boxing coach, explains how she is on course for the Shields rematch

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British flyweight and lifelong Manchester City fan Dakota Ditcheva replicated Phil Foden's goal celebration as she started her Professional Fighters League season with a sensational win over Lisa Mauldin

Savannah Marshall has embarked on a new career in mixed martial arts to pursue her rivalry with America's Claressa Shields.

Shields is boxing's undisputed middleweight champion but recently competed in the PFL SmartCage and Marshall will make an MMA debut herself in June.

Shields beat Marshall in a thrilling 2022 title fight. Although Marshall went on to go undisputed at super-middleweight, they could meet again down the line, in MMA or boxing.

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Claressa Shields secured a historic victory as she won the first women's MMA bout to be held in Saudi Arabia, on her return to the cage for the first time since 2021. Will Savannah Marshall follow suit?

Dakota Ditcheva, an MMA fighter who also competes in PFL, believes Marshall could get her revenge in an MMA contest.

"It would be an exciting fight. Their journey in boxing together has brought a lot of eyes to the sport so I can only imagine it would be an absolutely amazing match-up in MMA as well. Savannah really impressed me when she came to train, I haven't seen Claressa. But I'm backing Savannah 100 per cent, she really impressed me," Ditcheva told Sky Sports.

She admires both for making this foray into a new sport.

"I've trained a little bit with Savannah. What I find interesting about it is seeing natural athletes try different things and it's the same with Claressa Shields," she added.

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Marshall discusses the rematch with Shields and if we will see it in the boxing ring or the MMA cage

"Just a natural fighter being able to mix it up and go in different martial arts. Savannah again she's an amazing boxer but she's just a good athlete so the fact that she's able to kick and do all of these martial arts that she's doing, jiujitsu and wrestling, it's amazing to see.

"She's not been afraid to try something new and go into something else and that's what I really like about it.

"A lot of people are scared to do that, they have a lot of ego. They don't want to put themselves in vulnerable positions. But she's doing that and it'll only benefit her in the future.

"It humbles you doing different stuff like that. I think that's what really makes a person grow, being in uncomfortable positions like that."

Boxing coach Peter Fury will be in Marshall's corner for her MMA debut, though he is ultimately looking forward to guiding his charge to a boxing rematch with Shields.

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An emotional Shields revealed to Dan Hardy that it was a 'difficult camp' after her MMA win over Kelsey De Santis

"I know nothing about MMA. Andy Aspinall, Tom Aspinall's father, he's doing all the MMA stuff with Savannah and doing a good job," Fury told Sky Sports. "I'll only speak if I think there's a punch not going in correctly.

"I think Savannah will do very well in it because she's strong, she's a big bodily strong unit. She's got good long leverage as well. I think she'll do well."

But he noted: "The main thing for me is to get that out the way, get Savannah back boxing in October, November and the big rematch with Claressa in the spring. That's what me, as a trainer with Savannah, that's what I'd like."

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