Jack Shore dreaming of following in Joe Calzaghe's footsteps and selling out Principality Stadium after UFC London win
JACK SHORE is dreaming about bringing the UFC to Wales after finally getting a taste of fighting in MMA's top promotion in the UK.
The 16-0 bantamweight prospect was part of a star-studded cast for the UFC's long-awaited return to London's O2 Arena – where he defeated fellow up-and-comer Timur Valiev via unanimous decision.
Shore, 27, couldn't help but think about bringing MMA's elite promotion to his homeland after experiencing the raucous atmosphere at the O2.
And he has ambitions of packing out the Principality Stadium the same way Welsh icon Joe Calzaghe did in the latter stages of his career.
Tank told SunSport: "I'd love to bring them [the UFC] to Wales. The Welsh crowd are very much like the Dublin crowd in Ireland. I know that from when I'd headlined crowds there before.
"I'd love to do it. Joe Calzaghe even filled the big one, didn't he? He filled the Millenium Stadium. So that's definitely one for the bucket list as well.
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"Athis stage, the way my mind works is it's not a matter of if I can do it, it's a matter of when.
"I just need that little indoor stadium built first, give Dana [White] Sean [Shelby] and Mick [Maynard] a little taste of the Welsh water and bring them back for the big one at the Millenium – or the Principality as it's called."
Shore, however, doesn't foresee a UFC Wales card materialising until next year at the earliest.
He said: "I think the Motorpoint [Arena] might be a little bit small. I know they've just passed planning permission in Cardiff Bay for a 17,000 indoor arena. So I think that will be done next year. So why not?
"I'd like to think it's a matter of if and not when.
"And I know, eventually, I can be in a spot where I can headline these cards, especially when I'm pushing to go to the top of the division."
Shore's hopes of fighting on Welsh soil were boosted last week when UFC president Dana White revealed to SunSport that he plans to bring the promotion to new cities across the nation.
But before the all-rounder can think about fighting in the land of his fathers, he must first make a serious assault on the bantamweight division's elite.
And he's hoping his hard-fought and entertaining victory over Valiev will bag him a match-up with one of the big guns in the stacked weight class.
He said: "I want a ranked opponent. I think I've served my time. 5-0 in the UFC, I've never turned down a fight.
"There's not many 15-0 guys or guys that have fought in UFC and are pushing for a ranking that would've taken a fight against Timur.
"Who is this crazy Russian and was on the verge of being ranked himself. There were definitely easier fights to take.
"But I'm not that guy, I don't ever say no to an opponent. I don't pick and choose, but I feel like I've earned a rankings shot now.
"Whether I'm ranked or not, I deserve someone in those rankings. I want a quick turnaround. I'm going away in July for two weeks. So any time before then.
"Mid to late June, maybe the first week of July I could squeeze one in.
"But I want a nice and quick turnaround and I want to get three fights in this year. So June would be perfect."
Two names in the lower half of the bantamweight top-15 currently stand out for Shore, who said: "Ricky Simon, I'd love to fight.
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"And I'd love to fight [Raphael] Assuncao too. I'm not asking for top-five guys, I know how the system works.
"I think Assuncao is [ranked] 15 and I think Ricky may be [ranked] 14. So either of those two would be great fights."
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