An Interview with UFC Bantamweight Jack ‘Tank’ Shore
By Dan McConnell
Continuing on with the Cage Warriors History series, I recently caught up with former Cage Warriors bantamweight champion Jack ‘Tank’ Shore who has been recently signed to the UFC and will make his debut at UFC Copenhagen this weekend.
Jack Shore currently holds a perfect 11-0 mixed martial arts record. Shore recently defeated Mike Ekundayofor the CW 135-pound title and successfully defended it against Scott Malone in his last fight with the promotion.
One of the most exciting prospects in the world right now will look to make a statement this weekend and put his name on the map in the UFC’s bantamweight division.
The top prospect has had an excellent career so far, now reaching the promised land of the UFC. I wanted to know in Jack’s time with Cage Warriors from he made his debut in 2016, to having a meteoric rise with the promotion and lifting his first ever world title, what was his favourite fight and why?
“Cage Warriors was a promotion that was very good to me. My favourite fight has to be my second to last against Mike Ekundayo for the vacant Cage Warriors bantamweight title. A lot of people gave me no chance in that fight and I went on to put on one of the best performances I have ever had and it silenced a lot of the doubters.”
Lifting any prestigious promotions title is certainly a highlight for any fighter, especially if it’s your first title and something you will always remember. I asked himwhat was it like to headline a Cage Warriors show as the main-event in his hometown of Cardiff twice, and how much does it mean to have a whole nation behind him.
“Headlining and fighting for a world title in Cardiff was an amazing experience and something I’ll never forget! It means the world to me having the Welsh fans follow and support me like they do, it’s defiantly a humbling experience.”
At just 24 and riding an 11-0 unbeaten record, I wanted to get an insight into what it was like for Shore to finally get his hands on that Cage Warriors bantamweight title on the huge CW100 milestone card as main event. A title which has only elevated his stock and chances of making it into the UFC.
“Again, as previously stated it was an unreal experience. I’ve worked all my life to become a world champion so it was a special moment for me. I originally was lined up to fight for the 135-pound belt in September but that bout fell through for reasons out of my control. So when I finally won the title it was a dream come true for sure!”
Winning this title caught the eye of the UFC who recently signed the top prospect. Shore is set to make his debut on the huge European card at UFC Copenhagen this upcoming Saturday. I asked Jack what was it like to sign with the sports leading mixed martial arts organisation and how has his preparation during fight week been so far.
“Preparation has been great, I’m fit, sharp and in shape ready to go! It has been a life time of work to get into the UFC. I’ve watched every UFC card there’s been for the last 15 years, so to finally get the chance to compete in their famous octagon is incredibly exciting for me.”
The UFC has history of signing Welsh talent to the promotion, with former Cage Warrior champions in Jack Marshman and Brett Johns as well as John Phillips who features on this weekend’s card. I asked Shore does he think that the UFC should tap more into the Welsh market and could we see the promotion hold an event in Wales in the future?
“There’s definitely a huge market for the UFC in Wales. There is a lot of talent coming through the amateur ranks and with Cage Warriors like Cory McKenna and Mason Jones. In a few years I can see a massive UFC event taking place in Cardiff. Something I would love to be a part of!”
With Shore’s eye’s firmly set on his opponent this weekend in Nohelin Hernandez, I thought I’d ask a question about something further down the line. If he could pick a dream matchup with someone in the promotion who would he want to face and why?
“A dream match-up I would love to happen is someone like Frankie Edgar. I have been a massive fan of his style and attitude towards martial arts from I was a kid. Never say never.”
Shore will aim to continue to add to his unbeaten record of 11-0 when he returns to action this Saturday in Denmark. A huge card in Copenhagen features top talent including Marc Diakiese, John Phillips, the return of Nicolas Dalby, Khalil Rountree, Gunnar Nelson and Jack Hermansson.