Claressa Shields might have a new battle on her hands. 

Shields picked up a split decision against Kelsey DeSantis as a part of the PFL MMA fight card last Saturday in Saudi Arabia.

Two notable developments came out of the bout. First, Shields avoided tapping after being stuck in a painful armbar submission hold – a moment that went viral. Second, Shields' feud with Cris “Cyborg” Justino is very much alive.

“I don’t give a [expletive] about Cris Cyborg, and she knows that,” Shields told the assembled media backstage after her fight. “Cris Cyborg can’t beat me in a fight and she knows that.” 

The two were sparring partners at one point, often complimenting each other. Yet Shields’ foray into MMA and Cyborg’s entry into the boxing world appears to have strained their relationship. 

Cyborg was critical of Shields fighting at catchweight before the DeSantis bout. She also took aim at Shields’ MMA abilities on the social media platform X. 

“Even at 165 pounds, I might be able to win that fight without throwing a single punch,” Cyborg posted. 

Shields then replied, referring to Cyborg’s boxing ability.

“She can’t beat me in boxing. Why is she worried about my weight class and what I fought at? I am not the only catchweight bout that is on the card.

“Cris Cyborg is mad, because she turned down a fight with Larissa Pacheco, the PFL champion…”

History-maker Shields will be a trivia question as the first woman to win an MMA match in Saudi Arabia. Shields adds that to being a two-time Olympic gold medalist, three-division world champion and two-division undisputed champion. 

This comes 18 months after Ramla Ali became the first woman to win a fight in Saudi Arabia.