Jack Shore Interview:
By Jon Prentice
News broke this weekend prior to Cage Warriors 94 that the Wales MMA prospect Jack Shore (8-0) would get the next bantamweight title shot in a huge event in Cardiff in September. He was due to take on the winner of last nights’ Cage Warriors 94 main event between Brian Bouland and Ilia Topuria, where Topuria came out victorious, however in the process he missed weight by 4lbs which may have put a spanner in the works.
Following the event I caught up with Shore to get his thoughts on the news he will be fighting for the title, to get his take on the CW94 main event and to find out the plan following Topuria missing weight.
“It’s great news!” exclaimed Shore
“I haven’t fought in Wales for over a year and the fact that it’s going to be the biggest show Welsh MMA has seen is the icing on the cake” Shore said about the news he would be getting the title shot in Cardiff.
Known for having fantastic support whenever he competes, he is hoping to thrive under the pressure of what will no doubt be a partisan local crowd come fight night
“I’m excited by it, I’m the type of person who thrives off pressure. The higher the stakes the better I perform”.
Shore was in attendance at CW94 in Antwerp, Belgium as Topuria picked up an impressive first round submission victory over Bouland. Shore gave me his take on the evenings main event and Topuria’s performance
“Yes it was a great win for him, however it didn’t surprise me. He has a good wrestling/ground game, I expected it to go that way! It’s a shame he missed weight as it takes a bit of the shine off the performance”.
I probed a little further into his thought’s on Topuria missing weight by such a margin ahead of the bantamweight showdown on Saturday night
“To be honest I think it’s very unprofessional. There may have been circumstances that we are not aware of but at the end of the day us fighters are paid to make-weight, it’s part of our job. To miss it in a world title fight makes it even harsher”.
With Topuria missing weight therefore making him ineligible for the vacant bantamweight title following his win, the title picture is still up in the air. I asked Shore if the plan was to still go with Topuria in Cardiff or whether they would be heading down a different path
“That’s Cage Warriors decision not mine” Shore stated. “They mentioned last night that it may not happen because he didn’t make-weight, but I guess we will see in the coming weeks”.
Shore last competed back at Cage Warriors 92 in March, defeating MMA and UFC veteran Vaughan Lee via unanimous decision in a hard-fought victory. The fight was the first of Shore’s professional career that has gone the distance and he was happy to show that he has the rounds in him if needs be
“There were some things to work on but overall I was happy to get the win against an experienced guy like Vaughan! It was an enjoyable fight and I think it showed that I can handle adversity and that my cardio is more than good enough to go the distance”.
At just 23 years old, Shore acknowledged that he has time on his side and that he was in no rush to follow in former champion Nathaniel Wood’s footsteps to the UFC, however the UFC gold is eventually the long-term goal
“I guess we will have to wait and see, I’m only 23 so there’s no real rush for me. I’m just taking it one fight at a time and am 100% focused on bringing the belt to Wales” Shore stated. “There’s so many fights I’d love to have but a dream match up would be against any top 5 guy for the UFC gold haha” Shore responded when I asked him who his dream fight would be.
Shore is one of a number of hot prospects coming out of Wales along with the likes of Brett Johns and John Phillips who both ply their trade in the UFC, I asked Shore what he thought it was that contributed to the rise in MMA talent in the country
“To be honest I think we have always had a massive level of talent in Welsh MMA, but now that we have a few guys in the UFC it gives the up and comers the motivation to get there as well”.
Undefeated at both amateur and professional level, Jack Shore is a real talent that has the potential to go all the way to the top in this sport. You can see him in action for the title at Cage Warriors 97 which will go down on September 29th from the Ice Arena in Cardiff.