UFC’s next breakout British star?


2022 is the year of Jack Shore.

That’s what the bantamweight fighter posted on his Twitter account at the beginning of January and, with his record and reputation, who would bet against it?

Shore is undefeated with 15 victories and has been tipped to be the next Georges St-Pierre by Michael Bisping.

But Shore, also known as ‘Tank’, says he feels no pressure and is aiming to break into the 135lb rankings sooner rather than later.

“Bisping is a legend and has achieved more than anyone in UK MMA, so to have him so high on me and compare me to GSP so early on in my career just gives me motivation to keep doing what I’m doing,” Shore tells BBC Sport.

“By the end of the year, I want to be in those rankings, whether it’s in the top 15 or top 10. I want people to be talking about me as a serious threat to the big names in the division. It’s going to be a big year.”

Shore highlighted the key contribution his father and head coach has played during his MMA career so far.

His father, Richard, encouraged him to do kickboxing when he just six years old and then started an MMA club so they could train full-time. Ten years later after originally putting on classes in the cellar of a pub, Richard opened Shore Mixed Martial Arts Centre of Excellence.

Richard also trained the first Welshman to be signed by the UFC, Jack Marshman, before his son was snapped up by the MMA promotion in 2019.

“My dad has been there for me since day one,” says Shore. “I get a lot of questions about having my dad in my corner as my coach but to me, it’s the norm. He’s always been my coach. It just feels normal. He’s great to have there.

“When I’m travelling, I just feel a lot more comfortable and settled when he’s in my company. Although he’s my coach, he’s my dad first.”

A proud Welshman, Shore is counting down the days until he can fight in front of fans, and with UFC London rumoured to be taking place in March, ‘Tank’ believes the Welsh will travel in their “thousands” to support him.

“I can’t wait [to fight in front of fans]. When I was at Cage Warriors, I was known to have a massive following,” Shore said.

Jack Shore is trained by his father Richard

“My last three fights have been behind closed doors. Part of my identity was the crowd going nuts when I was fighting.

“If it’s in London, it’s pretty much a home fight for me. I can’t wait to feel that atmosphere again. I hope it’s in London because I know there will be thousands of Welsh fans coming to support me and that’s something I’m really looking forward to.”

Shore is not just your average MMA fighter – he’s also a huge MMA fan and has followed the sport since he was a child. The 135lb division boasts some of the biggest names in MMA and Shore has his “eyes on them”.

He says: “You have [Jose] Aldo, [Frankie] Edgar and [Dominick] Cruz – they are dream fights. They are a long way away yet but there’s others. Chito Vera, Song Yadong, Raphael Assuncao – these are all guys I’m looking at now.

“I’m not looking past the person who is in front of me, but they are in the back of my mind and I’m keeping an eye on them.”

Around the BBC iPlayer bannerAround the BBC iPlayer footer



Source link

Leave a Comment