UFC on ABC 2 includes a pair of rising bantamweights, Jack Shore and Hunter Azure. Both men are ground specialists. Azure is a collegiate wrestler, while Shore is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu purple belt. However, if the grappling cancels out, then we could see a kickboxing match from two well-versed strikers. Moreover, both are placed on the precipice of the bantamweight rankings, and a win here could land the successful fighter a top-15 opponent next.
Shore has an immaculate professional record. The “Tank” is a perfect 13-0 since the start of his career in 2015. This includes 12 finishes, as well as a Cage Warriors bantamweight title reign. Shore successfully defended the Cage Warriors belt against Scott Malone before signing to the UFC.
Shore currently rides a two-fight winning streak in the UFC. This includes submission victories over Nohelin Hernandez and Aaron Phillips. Both fights went similarly to the majority of those in Shore’s career, with Shore using measured striking before initiating a takedown. Once on the ground, he has patient transitions and looks to solidify position rather than making a slap-dash attempt at a submission. Shore finished both UFC appearances via rear-naked choke, and he has seven career victories courtesy of this submission.
Azure currently sits at 9-1. He gained a UFC contract from a 2019 decision win over Chris Ocon on Dana White’s Contender Series. He currently has two wins inside the Octagon. He scored unanimous-decision victories over Brad Katona and Cole Smith. Moreover, his only loss came in a competitive fight with bantamweight mainstay Brian Kelleher.
Azure’s collegiate wrestling background is evident in his fight style. He has good takedown ability, particularly against the fence, where he likes to bully his opponent. He has solid fundamental striking, too, with power in both hands. If he cannot get the fight to the ground, Azure is willing to trade on the feet.
This fight pits two rising prospects from either side of the Atlantic. Shore is one of the shining stars of British MMA, and he proudly flies the flag for Welsh combat sports. Conversely, Azure trains out of the revered Fight Ready MMA in Arizona. With high-quality training partners and coaches, Azure would appear to have the advantage when it comes to training and preparation.
With a 95 percent winning rate between them, it is clear that these bantamweights have bright futures ahead of them. Shore, 26, and Azure, 29, are just beginning to mature their skill sets. With each man having his own advantages on the ground, it will be intriguing to see who can impose their will on the mat.
The bantamweight division is more loaded than ever, and both of these fighters know they need to impress on Saturday night. This fight is definitely one to watch.
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