After reportedly turning down two previous advances from the UFC, Welsh champion Jack Shore believes he will finally be poised for an Octagon debut with a victory in front of his home crowd on Saturday night in his bantamweight title fight against Scott Malone at Cage Warriors 104.
While Shore underlined on several occasions that he is not looking beyond his clash with the commonwealth judoka this weekend, he believes the 11th professional win of his undefeated career will justify a call-up to the world’s flagship promotion.
“With a win against Scott, it’s a matter of who’s going to be there to fight [for the belt] next. To be honest, if I can get a win against Scott in style and look good doing it, potentially it could be time to move on to the bigger shows,” Shore told MMA Fighting’s podcast.
“But, like I said, I’m fully focused on Scott at the minute and I’m not looking past him in any way, shape or form. Until next Saturday, until that final bell goes [I won’t think about it]. The way I am mentally, I’m just thinking about fighting Scott at the minute.”
As first reported by the “Tank” has been approached by the UFC on two occasions in the past. Although he wanted to accept the opportunities as soon as they were presented to him, in hindsight, he’s glad that he listened to his coaches and manager who convinced him to continue growing his stock and skill set under the Cage Warriors banner.
“The first time we had contact with [UFC], I was 3-0 and I only had two fights on Cage Warriors. In my head, I wanted to jump at it. Being a young kid of just 21, you know what it’s like at that age; you think you can take on the world. Obviously, that’s why I’ve got my coaches and my manager around me, to steer me in the right direction,” he explained.
“If I had gone in at 3-0, I probably wouldn’t have lasted very long. Looking back, as good as I thought I was then, I wasn’t a tenth of the level that I am now. I’ve done the right thing, I feel like I’ve served my time, I’ve fought better and better opposition every time I’ve fought, I’ve fought veterans, I’ve fought undefeated guys and I fought the next best guy in Europe when I fought Mike [Ekundayo].
“I’ve got that valuable experience and the valuable cage time, I’ve got the strap and I’m a lot stronger in every area. Should the next stage come then I feel like I’m ready for it now, but again, it’s a matter of taking one fight at a time.”
Shore admits that nothing is definite in terms of his future should he have his hand raised in the Welsh capital, but he believes that the UFC are still interested in signing him.
“There’s nothing set in stone. It’s one of those things where if I win, I know [UFC] have been interested,” he said. “If I win, I’ve won the belt and defended it and I’ve beaten the top opposition that’s been there to offer. You’d be surprised if it didn’t come, but stranger things have happened. If I have to stay where I am and fight again in Cage Warriors, [that’s fine]. They look after me, they pay me well and promote me well, so it’s not going to be an issue if it doesn’t come. Fingers crossed, it all goes to plan.”
As for his first title defense, Shore believes he has what it takes to stop “Boom Boom.”
“I think Scott is going to be strong and he’s going to be aggressive early on,” he said. “That’s just how he fights; he comes out fast and hard. I’m ready for it, I’m ready to take the fight however it comes. I see me getting the finish whether it’s early or late like the last one where I’ll grind him out and wear him down. I do see a finish and I do think it’s going to be really good fight for the fans.”