Jack Shore feels no intimidation moving up to featherweight after spending all of his UFC fights in the 135-pound division. An avid fan of the sport, Shore watches every fight on every card, so he believes he is very educated on many of the competitors in the featherweight division, in addition to the divisions above and below him.
The move up to the featherweight signifies a new start, a new chapter for Shore.
“The last couple of weight cuts have been really tough, especially the last two,” Shore said. “I kind of thought maybe something's got to change, so I got a couple of scans done. The doctors looked at me stupid when I said I was fighting at bantamweight. They told me, ‘You need to think about moving up a class’ and so I just went into it full force.”
Not only is Shore feeling fully fueled heading into his fight at UFC 286: Edwards vs Usman 3 in London, but he also feels well prepared because he was able to spend more time focused on training instead of replacing a session with a run or doing more cardio to get the weight down. Overall, it’s been a great camp for Shore, who will face Makwan Amirkhani inside the O2 Arena.
The last time Shore stepped inside the Octagon was last July in Long Island against Ricky Simon. A second-round submission gave Shore the first loss of his professional career.
“I was devastated to pick up a loss, but, at the same time, being undefeated, it was kind of like, I've got a monkey off my back,” Shore said. “There were things to improve on, there was positives to take away. I obviously needed to sharpen certain areas, where sometimes you may get a win and you kind of forget about what you did. But when you pick up that loss, it's like, well, this needs to change, and this needs to change. I feel like I've adjusted and corrected certain mistakes that I made in the fight, and it was a good learning experience.”
Shore is eager to get back into the swing of things after being away for eight months. He adds a little extra motivation heading into this fight after finding out that he is going to be a dad. With a smile on his face, he laughs about the importance of winning now, with a mini version of him soon to arrive.
Sidelined with an injury a few months after his fight with Simon, “Tank” hasn’t had the feeling of victory since last March, when he faced Liudvik Sholinian inside the O2 Arena, leaving him eager to get a win over Amirkhani on Saturday night.
“He's kind of up and down, win a few, lose a few, but he's always dangerous,” Shore said. “You give him an opportunity to finish the fight and he takes it. He has been in there with some world class guys. Some of the guys who beat him have gone on to do really good things in the division, especially people like Arnold Allen, who is looking like he's going to get a title shot soon.”
Winning eight of his last 14, Amirkhani is eager to get back into the win column after losing to Jonathan Pearce last July. He began his professional career in 2010 and has only been submitted once.
With the adjustments that Shore has been making over the past few months, he feels confident in his ability to come out the victor.
“I know he's dangerous; he has been in there with some real caliber guys,” Shore said. “I think I'm better than him in all areas, and as long as I don't play his game and make any silly mistakes, then I think I can ultimately put him away.”
Shore believes that being the one to leave with his hand raised on Saturday night will send a message to the rest of the featherweight division.
“It would just be nice to get back in the win column and get the ball rolling again and hopefully show people that I'm here to stay at this weight class. It's not just like I lost a fight down there, let's try and jump up; I want to show that I can be a legit contender.”