Jack Shore: Fight Island Beckons

Jack Shore: Fight Island Beckons

By Jack Rainbow

Since I last spoke to Jack Shore much has changed. One key takeaway from our last interview was his reluctance to risk losing his hard-earned momentum, by rushing into action too quickly and without proper training. However, he made clear in that interview  not to rule out a ticket to ‘Fight Island..’

Jack is now slated to fight on July 15th, on the undercard of Calvin Kattar VS Dan Ige. He has not had the luxury of a full training camp, however:

“I found out I was fighting around about 3 weeks ago. I had 2 opponents unable to make the fight so it took time to get someone in and signed.”

The opponent Jack was referring to was Brazillian, Anderson Dos Santos (20-8.) However, in the midst of our Twitter conversation, Dos Santos tested positive for COVID-19 and was pulled from the card.

The UFC quickly replaced the Brazilian with Louisiana native Aaron Phillips (12-3). This did not faze the ever-confident Welshman though:

“It makes no difference to me, a fights a fight. I’ve had a change of opponent a day before a fight before so this is nothing new to me.”

Training in the midst of a pandemic is not an easy experience. With gym time being limited, and fights being offered on far shorter notice than usual, it is easy for fighters to lose discipline, especially those with challenging weight cuts. But Jack’s discipline means he feels prepared to make 135lbs on July 14th:

“The weight was lower starting out this time so that helped. Fitness-wise I always keep a good base level of fitness regardless of fight camp or not, so it didn’t take me long to be fighting fit.”

Maintaining fitness through lockdown has equally aided his preparation:

“I’m feeling very prepared, it’s been a shorter camp than normal, but I felt my fitness levels before the camp were already very good so it’s just been a matter of sharpening my skills”

One famous fighting metaphor is iron sharpens iron. With Fight Island being such a unique experience in relation to not just fighting without a crowd, but also fighting in 40 degrees plus heat, means that for Jack, being able to fight just a few days apart from team-mate Brett Johns is of a huge benefit:

“Having Brett fight a few days after has been perfect it means we have been working almost every day. In Wales, pro-athletes have been giving the green light to get back to full-time training so me and my teammates have all been tested meaning that we can train risk-free.”

Fighting on Fight Island is not only unique, it is historic. The marketing from the UFC in promoting these four events means these events are likely to be viewed by huge audiences internationally. Jack, could be forgiven for looking to make a statement, but for him only one thing is pertinent:

“A win by any means necessary, finish, or decision!”

On the 15th of July, Jack will look to add to his impressive 12-0 record against arguably his toughest challenge yet against US veteran Phillips, who himself is on a 5 fight win streak. The stakes are getting higher and higher, and yet Jack continues to keep himself grounded and focused on the challenge ahead.

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