JACK SHORE is no stranger to having fights change at the drop of a hat – so taking on UFC newcomer Liudvik Sholinian on just over a week's notice is no big deal for the bantamweight prospect.
The undefeated Welshman will welcome Sholinian to MMA's premier promotion tonight on the UFC Vegas 36 prelims at the Apex facility in Las Vegas.
Shore's second outing of the year was supposed to see him lock horns Said Nurmagomedov, who was replaced by Zviad Lazishvil due to visa issues.
Injury, however, forced former LFA champ Lazishvil off the card and paved the way for Armenian-born Ukrainian Sholinian to make his octagon bow.
Shore told SunSport of the change of opponents: "It's been easy, it's not ideal. But I've had short-notice pull-outs the day before a fight.
"I just take it in my stride. It can be a little frustrating.
'"But at the end of the day, I'm still here, I've got an opponent and I'm well rounded enough and can gameplan for any style. So I'll be ready for him on the night."
Shore was relishing the clash with the highly-touted Nurmagomedov and the reward that might have potentially come with a win over the Russian.
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He said: "A win there would've put me in the spot to fight someone that's in in the top-15. But there's no point getting wound up about it.
"The world is upside down at the moment – especially with visas and travel stuff. It's not easy coming from somewhere like Russia.
"It's hard enough from the UK, so I can imagine Russia is the same.
"But we've still got to focus on the guy in front of me. And what will be after that will be."
Although Sholinian is relatively unknown to most MMA fans, Shore believes a win over the Ultimate Fighter season 29 competitor should have him knocking on the door of the bantamweight top-15.
He continued: "I feel like I still deserve it as I'm fighting on the date I agreed to. I haven't complained once about the two pull-outs and I'm still here ready to go.
A win there would've put me in the spot to fight someone that's in in the top-15
"But if I've got to fight someone else or another two fights, I'll do that. I'm not gonna cry over spilt milk."
Crying over spilt milk is something the 14-0 Shore can't do given his short, but so far successful, stint in the UFC.
The 26-year-old said: "Overall it's been very positive. Last year was a little bit slow, I had a fight cancelled in March because of the lockdown.
"And ultimately, Covid led to my visa getting delayed in November, which caused that fight to be cancelled. But I've got the ball rolling again this year.
"Another win here will be two wins in five months.
"So it'll put me in good stead for next year. I've fought good-level guys as well.
"I haven't come in and had an easy time of it. I've fought three high-level guys. Especially the last opponent. It's been all positive.
"Hopefully, we can continue to keep the ball rolling, continue to get my name out there and obviously get more exposure as I'm racking up more wins."
Keeping the ball rolling will be contingent on getting the better of the durable and well-rounded Sholinlian, who is riding a four-fight win streak.
And if Sholinlian's fights on TUF are anything to go by Shore – who is 3-0 inside the octagon – will be in for a fast-paced war.
He said: "I've seen the Ultimate fighter stuff. He's a good wrestler, he comes forward with a lot of pressure and he's quite scrappy on the feet.
"He uses that sort of brawling style to initiate his takedowns.
"I haven't been able to spar for him because of the short notice of the fight, but it's a style I've fought before.
"Many times, to be honest. Especially on the domestic scene.
"So I'm comfortable and confident and I think my style will be a little bit too technical for him. I'll be able to find my openings and get my game going once the fight settles in.
Shore has mentally prepared himself for a firefight early doors and is hoping that will lead to a short night at the office.
The Welshman said: "I think it's going to be a fast, fast start.
"Obviously, he's gonna come out and either want to turn it into a brawl and want to put the pressure on me and put me on my back.
"But I think I'm technical enough to settle him down, keep my range. And once I do, I think I'll find an opening to take him out.
"Whether it be on the feet or a submission on the ground. A first-round finish would be great.
"My last five fights have gone to the third, and I've had four finishes in the third and a decision.
"So a nice early one would be nice. A nice stress-free one for the family.
"But don't be surprised if I drag it out to the second or third like I usually end up doing."
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