clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jack Shore says bantamweight days are over ahead of UFC 286: ‘I feel like a new man’ at 145

Jack Shore’s move to featherweight will not just be a one-time thing for Saturday’s UFC 286 event.

Shore will face Makwan Amirkhani in his first UFC fight at 145-pounds at The O2 in London in the featured preliminary bout. Having competed at featherweight in his first seven pro bouts, the move up is nothing new for “Tank,” but it appears to be a permanent one.

“It’s something we’ve been toying with for the last 12 to 18 months,” Shore said on The MMA Hour. “My dad has been at me for a while to consider the jump. The last [few] cuts to bantamweight have been pretty tough, and it had effects on my performances — even my winning performances.

“I just felt like the weight cut was taking away too much from what I could actually do in the cage in comparison to what I did at the gym. We did a lot of tests to see if I could make it, and a lot of the doctors were questioning how I was making [135] so it just made sense. I started my pro career at featherweight so I have experience there. This is not just going up for one fight, this is it. This is where I probably finish my career. The 135 days are gone.”

Days away from a fight, Shore is typically spending a lot of his training time doing extra cardio and trying to cut down to the bantamweight limit. Now that the massive cut is no more, the 28-year-old says he feels better than he has in a long time.

“I can’t even put it into words, I feel like a different guy at this weight,” Shore said. “I don’t feel depleted, I haven’t spent the last six weeks just constantly running, cutting weight, and brining my weight down — and when I was doing that, the fight weeks were hell. I was just showing face for the media, and the UFC check-in. It was tough.

“I’m full of energy, I’ve done three sessions [on Monday], and I feel great getting ready [for the fight]. I feel like a new man.”

Shore will face Amirkhani who has lost four of five, and will make his 14th octagon appearance. “Mr. Finland” most recently competed at UFC London this past July and was finished by Jonathan Pearce.

For the first time in his career, Shore is also fighting off of a loss, as he was finished by Ricky Simon at July’s UFC Long Island event. Prior to that, he had won 16 straight pro bouts.

While losing the undefeated streak can weigh some fighters down with negativity, Shore actually feels like it could be a blessing in disguise.

“I kind of feel like there’s a monkey off of my back,” Shore said. “I sort of dreaded that day for a long time, and you kind of fight not to lose rather than fighting to win. Now that’s all gone and a weight has been lifted in a way. Not every interview is about, ‘Do you feel unbeaten pressure to keep the streak alive,’ and all of these comparisons. I just feel now like I can just go in there, enjoy the fight, and just actually fight without this added pressure, this added background noise.

“I think at one point I had the best record in the UFC in terms of wins to losses, and stuff like that, so now it reminds me of how it did at the beginning of my pro career when I can juts take it one fight at a time, focus on getting that win, and looking good doing it.”

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting