Undefeated Welsh bantamweight and former Cage Warriors champion Jack Shore has been gearing his life towards competing in the UFC since he was a child and tonight in Copenhagen he will finally get the opportunity to fulfil his dream.
As always, Shore will have his father, celebrated Welsh coach Richard Shore, in his corner. And although his father has been in this position on many occasions in the past with the likes of Jack Marshman, Shore knows that tonight’s debut will have a little more significance for him.
“He’s pretty good at keeping it under wraps, especially during fight camp,” Shore told MMA Fighting’s podcast.
“You can see that he is nervous, but that’s to be expected. It’s not just a coach and fighter, but you’ve got to switch it off when the fight starts. But I am his son, so I imagine that he feels it…he probably feels the nerves worse than I do. You can ask people who have been in the changing room before my fights, I look like I’m about to go for a walk in the park and he looks like he’s getting ready for battle. He’ll be feeling it on the night I’m sure, but as soon as we step into the cage and the bell rings to start the fight, he’s switched on then—he’s not Dad anymore, he’s coach—he’s thinking like a coach and he’s speaking like a coach. He’ll be more nervous than me I bet, but he’s been around the block before so I’m sure he will cope with it.”
Shore has dreamt about reaching UFC status for the majority of his life and he admits that he is looking forward to reaching the same level of comfort in the Octagon as he achieved under the Cage Warriors banner.
“It’s like a nervous excitement rather than a pressure or a sense of being scared or worried. It’s the same before every fight, but obviously this one is a little more exciting because it’s a new experience. With Cage Warriors, as much as it was great to fight with them, by the time I got to my last couple of fights with them I knew how it sort of worked, whereas with this one, it’s the excitement of walking out to that big crowd,” he said.
“Even last night when I was in bed I was thinking to myself, ‘It’s nuts that I’ve watch the UFC my whole life, I’ve watched it and I’ve been there live a couple of times and on Saturday I’m actually going to be in the cage—the UFC’s Octagon!’ I’m going to put the UFC gloves on and I’m going to fight. It’s just excitement, something I’ll look forward to. No doubt I’ll have butterflies on the night before I make the walk, but that’s part and parcel of it whenever you fight.”