By Jake Smith
2015 IMMAF European Gold medallist Jack ‘Tank’ Shore will look to take another step closer to securing a UFC ranking spot, when he takes on Liudvik Sholinian this Saturday, Sept 4th at UFC Fight Night 191: Brunson vs Till.
Shore was originally slated to face Said Nurmagomedov in a highly anticipated clash at 135lbs. His Russian counterpart withdrew from the bout, an issue which has become somewhat of an occurrence for the Welshman, having been ready to compete against 10 different athletes during his UFC tenure so far, with only three coming to fruition. Following Nurmagomedov’s withdrawal, former LFA Champion, and fellow undefeated prospect, Zviad Lazishvili accepted the bout.
However, whilst waiting for his connecting flight from Dallas on his way to Las Vegas for the bout, Shore was left in dismay when his manager informed him that Lazishvili had also withdrawn from the bout. Already in the USA and determined to fight, Shore had even contemplated moving up to Featherweight or competing at a catchweight in order to remain on the card.
The Ultimate Fighter 29 semi-finalist, Liudvik Sholinian will now be the man across the cage from Shore come Saturday night, having taken the fight on only a few days notice.
Although frustrated, ‘Tank’ is unphased by the constant change of opponent. Throughout IMMAF competitions, athletes will compete against several opponents, back to back, over the course of several days; Shore believes the format is a fantastic way to prepare amateurs for professional life, even crediting his IMMAF experience in helping him live by the ‘anyone, anytime’ mantra.
He explained: “I think IMMAF definitely gives you the mentality to fight anyone at any time due to the tournament set up. With the draws, you don’t get to pick and choose your opponent you don’t have a say, just like when you have a pull out.
“It definitely got me ready to be ready to fight anyone whether it be on a days notice, week notice, two weeks notice. With the IMMAF, you fight out your opponent the night before after seeing who wins on that side of the bracket. So it definitely stands you in good stead in terms of late replacements.”
Shore is becoming a dab hand at having to change up his game plan when a new face is put in front of him and although elements of his camp are based around his opponent, the 26-year-old opts to let his body and mind take control once he’s in the cage.
“I do focus on the opponents strengths and weaknesses, looking for my easiest route to victory,” said Shore. “Ultimately I just go out there and fight my own game, fight on instincts and just let my mind and body take over in the fight and take the fight where I decide to take it.
“I don’t focus too much on a set game plan because sometimes if that game plan doesn’t go well, you don’t always have a plan B or C so it’s just easier to fight on instincts.”
Across both his amateur and professional reign, ‘Tank’ is riding an immaculate 26-fight win streak, claiming IMMAF gold, Cage Warriors world championship and solidifying himself as one of the biggest prospects in the United Kingdom, in the process. With a solid team behind him at Shore MMA, headed by his father Richard, and an ever developing skill set; Shore is on the trajectory to enter his name into the UFC Bantamweight rankings before the year is out.