Jack Shore: ‘I have done a lot to get where I am and it would be unfair to get that chalked out due to lack of preparation.’

Jack Shore: ‘I have done a lot to get where I am and it would be unfair to get that chalked out due to lack of preparation.’

By Jack Rainbow

At 25 years old with a perfect 12-0 record, it would be easy for Jack Shore to be heavily frustrated about the current Covid-19 lockdown which has kept him out of competitive MMA.

The Welsh bantamweight who was scheduled to fight Geraldo De Freitas at UFC London on the 21st March has now not fought for over 7 months and he is itching to compete:

“The fight with Nohelin Hernandez was back at the end of September, it is the longest I have been out of competition for ten plus years. I am used to fighting every three or four months, it’s not a great situation to be in. I have built a lot of hype and wanted to carry that out into the London show and be back around July time but what can you do, there is no point sitting there crying about it, it is what it is.”

One thing evident in the interview with Jack was his maturity. In contrast to various fighters chomping at the bit to fight even without the luxury of a full camp, he isn’t going to risk going in unprepared:

“It is a tough one because I am bursting to fight. I am fit and healthy and don’t want to waste time, but if the gyms aren’t open there’s only so much I can do to prepare. As much as I would love to jump in there I need to spar, and if I can’t get sharp in the wrestling and striking areas it is tough for me to commit. I have done a lot to get where I am and it would be unfair to get that chalked out due to lack of preparation.”

It is evident on social media how many fighters and fans missed watching UFC. Jack was no different:

“I have watched them all the recent events, it is probably the longest the UFC has gone without an event, 8 weeks. It was good to have something to keep us entertained.”

There was even an eye to future opponents and Jack is clearly excited by the current state of the bantamweight division:

“Bantamweight Is one of the most stacked divisions in the UFC. You just have to watch some of the fights recently such as Brian Kelleher vs Hunter Azure, and Song Yadong vs Marlon Vera which was a great fight. All four of those guys I could clash with down the line. There was a time when people didn’t seem to watch the lighter divisions but now we seem to be stealing the show, it is exciting times for the division and it is exciting for me to think of the possibilities.”

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The hype behind Jack is undeniable. Dana White, Paul Felder, and Dan Hardy have all praised him lavishly, with White even saying he is the most exciting British prospect. Jack is not intimidated by this, however:

“Some guys ask me do you feel pressure because of that, but I think of it as a reward for all the hard work I have put in over the years. I know Dan Hardy has been watching me from my first ever Cage Warriors fight, and he has been calling for me to be in the UFC long before I was. To hear people like him, Dana, and Paul Felder, who I grew up watching, is great for me to see and shows if you put the work in and commit yourself you will reap the benefits. It is certainly good for me mentally.“

Listening to Jack makes it hard not to believe in him. His quiet confidence is matched by maturity usually not present with people his age. His stance on bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo’s shock retirement and this aligning with his future goals proves he understands the dangers of being in the sport too long:

‘If it is real good for him. He is pound for pound number one or two and he is still relatively young, and healthy. He’s not taken a lot of brain trauma and is getting out young with his health like Andre Ward. That is something I like to think I could do in the future, get out young with my health and money and move onto other things, and if he is serious good on him.”

He may not be a brash trash-talker, but with this attitude, Shore has all the ingredients to be a star. Although his progress has been slowed by Covid-19, there is no rush to jump back in unprepared and unconditioned. Despite talk of a potential fight with fellow British prospect Nathanial Wood, Jack remains focused on a potential De Freitas fight in the near future:

“Geraldo is an exciting fighter and his two UFC fights were barn burners. It would be nice to get that one back and honor the fact we were meant to fight. I don’t know what the crack is with getting him out of the country but it would be nice to get that one rematched.”

One thing is for sure, British MMA is on the rise. With fellow upcoming fighters, such as the aforementioned Wood and Molly McCann and others starting to make ripples in the UFC, there are lots of potential stars in the making. But according to the boss himself, no one is as promising as Jack Shore.

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