Savannah Marshall gets first-round finish in MMA debut at PFL Europe 2, faces off with Claressa Shields

Savannah Marshall’s MMA debut went about as well as she could hope for.

On Saturday, Marshall headlined PFL Europe 2 against Mirela Vargas in the Utilita Arena in Newcastle, England, and while she it wasn’t entirely smooth sailing, Marshall still managed to secure a first-round TKO win.

A former accomplished kickboxer, Vargas attacked Marshall with leg kicks early, taking Marshall off her feet a number of times, but “Silent Assassin” got right back up and fired off boxing combinations early and often. Vargas then tried to put her BJJ purple belt to good use with takedowns and grappling, but Marshall showed her work with UFC interim heavyweight champion Tom Aspinall had paid off as she repeatedly got back to her feet, one time even nearly taking Vargas’s back.

In the end, Marshall’s power punching proved too much for Vargas as she stung her with a heavy combination and then battered the 1-2 MMA fighter around the cage with hooks and uppercuts until the referee was forced to jump in and halt the contest.

After the fight, Marshall wasted no time in calling out top pound-for-pound female boxer and former opponent Claressa Shields, who sat cageside for the fight.

“Where’s me pal, Claressa?” Marshall said. “See that? That’s how you get up off the floor, babe!”

Shields also competes in PFL and has a 2-1 record in the organization. The two previously fought in boxing in 2022, with Shields winning a unanimous decision to claim the undisputed middleweight title.

Shields entered the cage and seemingly agree to a rematch in MMA, culminating in the two facing off.

“Are we getting it on in the cage or what?” Marshall said. “Let’s do it. Full MMA rules. Let’s go!”

The undercard of PFL Europe 2 also was home to a couple of spectacular knockouts as Jack Grant obliterated Charlie Leary in just 41 seconds in a welterweight bout, and Shanelle Dyer landed a beautiful head kick knockout over Mariam Torchinava in a flyweight contest. Check out those highlights below.

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