Photo Credit: Jack Shore on Facebook

Despite UFC Ambitions, Cage Warriors 92’s Jack Shore Not Overlooking Vaughan Lee

Jack “Tank” Shore faces his toughest challenge yet as he faces UFC veteran Vaughan Lee at Cage Warriors 92: Super Saturday in London, England on March 24, 2018. MMAToday has caught up with the Welsh prospect to discuss his upcoming matchup, how he got started in MMA, training under his father and his plans for the future.

Shore is perhaps the brightest Welsh talent outside of the UFC. Since making his professional debut in 2016, he has amassed a perfect 7-0 record with all of his wins coming inside the distance. The fight against Vaughan Lee will mark Shore’s debut as a bantamweight. He announced his plans to move down following his first-round submission victory over Ayton De Paepe at Cage Warriors 89.

“It was only a matter of time before I come up against a real big guy. Bantamweight was the logical step for me and frame wise I’m suited better at that weight than at featherweight.”

Although he isn’t fighting for the title as he might have initially hoped for, Shore isn’t disappointed with how the things have worked out.

“Obviously, it being my first time at the weight they probably want me to earn my place in that division and obviously prove that I can make the weight. (…) Vaughan Lee is a big name despite it not being a title fight. So its one I’m looking forward to it’s a big test but it’s a fun fight.”

You could say that Shore was always destined to be a fighter. His father Richard “Shaky” Shore is the head coach and owner of the Tillery Combat Gym. Despite what it may seem like to an outsider, Shore was never pressured into MMA by his father but chose the path of his own volition.

“I’ve never been pushed into it. I was a good rugby player as a kid and he always tried to push me down that route but I was a much better fighter than I was a rugby player. (…) He just supported me in the decision of going towards that route.”

Shore says that he doesn’t find it difficult working with his father every day as he never knew another way. Perhaps this is because they are both able to remain professional and focused on the task at hand despite their relationship.

“When we step into the gym or when it’s fight night we got that connection where it’s no longer father and son its fighter and coach, I think we distinguish the two well. I think benefits me as well, I’ve got complete trust in him so you know when I’m in the cage and he is saying to do a certain thing I know that it’s the right move. I’ve got no doubt that he’s got my best interests at heart.”

Aside from training at Tillery Combat, Shore has shown willingness to expand his horizons and travel outside the country to sharpen his skills.

“This summer I spent a month down in Albuquerque in Jackson-Wink. Me and Jack Marshman went over, he did a fight camp out there and I went out to train as well.”

“My main gym is obviously Tillery but I’m not against cross training a little bit. I enjoyed the experience in Jackson Wink, to share the mats with guys like Jon Jones, John Dodson, Diego Sanchez is really humbling and it gives you a good indicator of what level you are at. So it’s something that I would definitely recommend.”

Unlike many of his peers, Shore underwent an extensive amateur career. During his time in the amateurs, he went 12-0 en route to winning the 2015 IMMAF European Open Championship. Shore is grateful for the invaluable experience he has gained during his amateur bouts and recommends that younger fighters follow in his footsteps.

“My advice to any amateur fighters would be to get as much amateur experience as you can, do the IMMAFs, test yourself against the best guys and then obviously end up going pro.”

According to Shore, another reason for his success is the fact that didn’t start off by training in a singular martial art but instead focused on training MMA as a whole.

“I’ve been training now probably 10-11 years MMA purely and obviously in total a little bit longer than that. It’s something that I’ve been doing all my life and I think that’s why I’m doing as well as I am because I was not brought up in a single discipline as such, I was brought up training MMA.”

“You look at all the top guys in the UFC, the days of where someone was just a specialist in one discipline are gone. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses but 95% of the top guys are well-rounded fighters, they can strike, grapple wrestle so I think to get to the top level of this sport I think you’ve got to be able to do it all. By starting out in MMA rather than just a single discipline is only going to benefit me and push me in the right direction.”

Seeing his close friend Jack Marshman make his UFC debut has had a profound effect on Shore, who now feels that his dreams can become a reality.

“For a long time, the top Welsh boys were sort of being overlooked. There was that question ‘would any of them actually get signed?’ but when Jack and Brett and then obviously John Phillips a couple of months later it showed the guys like me that the dream is doable. It lit a fire in a sense, it gives you that extra push that it can be done and we are capable of reaching that level.”

Following his fight with Lee, Shore has his sights on either a title shot in Cage Warriors or a call-up to UFC. However, he isn’t overlooking his experienced opponent.

“I’ll try and take it one fight at a time. It’s hard for me to look past Vaughan at the minute because that’s all I’ve been focused on for the last 12 weeks so I’m not even thinking about Nathaniel or UFC. All going to plan and I get the win, it’d be nice to fight for the belt but obviously if UFC comes calling that’s gonna be tough to turn down. I suppose whatever comes first.”

If Shore is to be believed, then fans will not want to miss his upcoming fight.

“I think, for the fans. It’s going to be a real clash of styles. I’ve got a more traditional boxing, kickboxing style whereas he is more karate, taekwondo based. I’m a top pressure fighter, he is very good off his back so it’s going to be an interesting one for people to watch.”

Shore’s loyal legion of fans is another thing to look out for as they make any arena they are in feel like home for him.

“You’ll think you’re in Wales when I’m fighting I’m sure. So be prepared for a good atmosphere. (…) Hopefully, we can show that we are like the Irish and we get behind our own which hopefully ultimately leads to a UFC in Wales.”


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