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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Donagh Corby

Jack Shore wants to retire from the UFC undefeated as 'MMA's Joe Calzaghe'

Welsh UFC star Jack Shore wants to follow in the footsteps of his legendary countryman Joe Calzaghe and leave his sport an undefeated champion.

Shore will return to the Octagon on Saturday night against the veteran Ricky Simon in New York, putting his 16-0 record on the line in his latest American outing. Despite admitting that he would rather be fighting in front of a packed British crowd in London next week, he is happy to continue his journey in a new venue.

The undefeated former Cage Warriors bantamweight champion earned the No.14 spot in the UFC's 135lb rankings with a win in the UK over Timur Valiev back in March. And despite being one of the top prospects in British and Irish MMA, Shore missed out on a spot at the O2 Arena next weekend, instead being asked to come to America.

He will face the No.13-ranked Simon at the UBS Arena in Long Island, with the card beginning at a reasonable hour in the UK due to being early in the afternoon for broadcast on American TV. Shore is unfazed by the location of the bout, insisting that progression is his primary focus.

"The offer came through about nine or 10 weeks ago," Shore told Mirror Fighting . "It was a fight we both wanted and it was nice to get someone we were hoping to get rather than a random name so it was great.

"Obviously, I would have preferred it to be in London, but I was happy with the fight and it is what it is. I'm really glad to now be in the rankings but I'm mostly concerned with pushing through them.

"I keep my eye on all of the top guys in the division, everybody whose ranked I make sure to watch. I knew when they offered it, kind of what we were dealing with and I've watched him a little bit closer since, he favours the wrestling but he's good everywhere."

While he insists that he doesn't obsess over his perfect record that includes a Cage Warriors world title and a defence, he admits that he does fancy being similar to Calzaghe, who never lost before hanging up his boxing gloves in 2009. The former super-middleweight champion defeated the likes of Roy Jones Jr and Bernard Hopkins, and retired at 46-0.

"I don't even think about it any more, there's zero pressure," Shore explained. "I've had that many fights now and I'm at the stage where I'm fighting the best guys in the world now.

Jack Shore faces Ricky Simon in New York this weekend (Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

"People do say it, and I would love to retire undefeated and be MMA's Calzaghe, but sometimes losses happen. Not that I envision myself losing any time soon, but I just don't think about it.

"I don't think about my record, I don't think about my streak, I just go out there and fight, and every fight to me I'm 0-0 and I move from there. I don't let it factor in."

Shore started kickboxing at the age of six under his dad's watch and began training MMA years later, going 12-0 as an amateur before joining the paid ranks. But he lost contests in his younger days and insists that defeat won't devastate him like it has great former unbeaten fighters like Ronda Rousey.

Do you believe that Jack Shore will have an undefeated run to UFC gold? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

"Speaking from boxing and jiu-jitsu, I used to always shake the guys' hand and congratulate them," he added. "I'd be gutted and need to cool off for a week, but life moves on.

"You can't dwell on things for too long, that's when people end up letting things get on top of them. I love fighting, and that is a big part of my life, and it's not my entire life.

"Win, lose or draw I have my family, my missus and they'll still love and respect me and support me regardless of the outcome of the fight. So that's why there isn't any added pressure, it's not like if I lose the family are going to disown me and say they don't want to know me now I've lost. I'm a martial artist, I've lost before, I've drawn matches before, you dust yourself off and you go again!"

Watch Jack Shore take on Ricky Simón at UFC FIGHT NIGHT ® : ORTEGA vs. RODRIGUEZ on Saturday July 16, live on BT Sport 2.

Prelims start at PRIME TIME 4PM BST on UFC Fight Pass, with Main Card coverage on BT SPORT 2 starting at 7PM BST.

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