UFC bantamweight prospect Jack Shore has big aspirations for his time on MMA’s biggest stage, including a quest to bring the promotion to Wales.
In a talent-stacked 135-pound division, a host of prospects are emerging, some of whom would perhaps already be ranked had they been part of a less talent-filled roster. One of those individuals is UK MMA star Shore.
At just 26 years of age, the Welshman has emerged as a future star at bantamweight. Shore, a former cage Warriors champion, boasts an unblemished 15-0 record that includes 12 finishes, eight by way of submission.
Since arriving in the UFC in 2019, “Tank” has extended his unbeaten record with four triumphs, two of which came over Hunter Azure and Liudvik Sholinian.
Now, for the first time in his UFC career, Shore is set to fight on home soil, sort of…
At UFC London on March 19, a card that represents the promotion’s return to England for the first time since 2019, Shore will face his toughest test to date in the form of Russia’s Timur Valiev. He was initially scheduled to face Umar Nurmagomedov that month, but after the highly-touted cousin of Khabib Nurmagomedov pulled out, his compatriot Valiev stepped in.
While it may not be a fight in his home country, Shore told LowKick MMA it’s about as close as he can get to one at the moment.
“It’s the closest we’re going to get to a hometown fight at the minute is London,” Shore said. “We are a bit of a way from me being able to call for a Cardiff card.”
Shore: Wales Card Would Be “A Dream Come True”
While he admits it’s a distant possibility, Shore boasts aspirations of bringing the UFC to his own backyard down the line. Hoping to follow in the footsteps of Conor McGregor and Michael Bisping, who took the promotion to Dublin and Manchester, respectively, “Tank” wants to experience a Wales crowd cheering him on down the line.
For it to happen, however, Shore believes a new arena needs to be made, with the only current options in Cardiff being too small, or too big.
“Yeah, I think so (I’ll be the one to bring the UFC to Wales). At the minute, I think there’s three of us from Wales in the UFC,” said Shore. “I’m in a position at the minute where I’m probably the closest to being in those rankings and fighting those big names and becoming a bit of a, you know, getting that chance to finally break through into the mainstream a little bit.
“It is something I obviously wanna do,” added Shore. “At the minute, venue-wise in Wales, we’ve got an indoor arena, but it only seats like 8,000. And we’ve got the Millennium Stadium, which seats 80,000. So, we’re a bit two ends of the scale at the minute. If they can knock us up like a 20,000-seater, then I can start to get in Dana (White’s) and Sean (Shelby’s) ear.”
Nevertheless, Shore believes if everything falls into place in his career he can turn his homecoming dream into a reality.
“Obviously I’d love to do it, and I’d love to just fight on a UFC card in Wales, but to be the guy that brought it to Wales like how Conor (McGregor) brought it back to Dublin, or how Bisping took it to Manchester, would be insane, it would be a dream come true. So, who knows what the future holds. Obviously, that’d be a dream of mine. Never say never. It’s not too far away. it’s just a case of the right timing and things falling into place,” concluded Shore.
To make it happen, Shore’s goal is simple: continue winning and continue climbing the bantamweight ladder.
With a victory over Valiev at UFC London, Shore will certainly take a big step closer towards the rankings. From there, it’ll be big names and a big rise to the top should he maintain his unbeaten start in the UFC. Perhaps a UFC Cardiff event won’t be too far down the line soon after.
Do you think the UFC could head to Wales in the future?