JACK Shore has become the fifth Welshman to sign for the UFC with the Abertillery ace signing a four-fight deal with the world’s largest MMA promotion, writes Jason Batty.

Bantamweight Shore follows in the footsteps of Tillery Combat stablemate Jack Marshman, Swansea duo Brett Johns and John Phillips, and Craig White, who have all flown the Welsh flag in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Now he has been rewarded for his dedication and accolades in the sport, 24-year-old Shore will be able to show off his diverse skill set on the biggest mixed martial arts platform there is.

“It’s been a long time coming and all the hard work has paid off,” Shore told MMAFighting.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity and can’t wait to show that I can hang with the best guys in the world.

“Thanks to my family, friends, sponsors, coaches and teammates at Tillery Combat, and my manager Graham Boylan.”

Once a Welsh boxing novice champion and British Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion, he also boasted an unbeaten Amateur MMA record that saw him win the IMMAF amateur European championship four years ago.

Since turning professional in 2016, Shore, trained by dad Richard, has maintained his flawless record, picking up 11 straight wins, 10 with finishes including a mixture of KOs and submissions.

Late last year he collected the Cage Warriors bantamweight gold crown and then in April he defended it in front of a sell-out crowd at Cardiff’s Viola Arena.

However, his performances were not the only things to invite a contract from the UFC.

Shore’s style and personality has created a cult following that brings a partisan crowd to his fights.

That has fuelled the appetite for MMA across the region, with Shore go from poster boy to knocking on the door of becoming a household name in South Wales.

Cage Warriors know how to develop their stars, Shore has become the 91st to walk through their doors and then move up the ranks, and the UFC will be aware they have potentially captured a pre-packaged superstar who walks the walk and is very marketable.

The excitement among fans is akin to the aura surrounding Conor McGregor when he entered the UFC.

He too had won all his fights inside the distance, sold out crowds and had the nation behind him. The former Cage Warriors champion went on to become a two-weight champion in the UFC.

The UFC bantamweight division is crying out for a new star after seeing its disgraced champion, TJ Dillashaw, stripped of his belt after failing a drugs test and handed a two-year ban.

Title talk will be premature at this stage, but the sky is the limit for Shore and a new and exciting chapter is about to unfold for him and Welsh MMA.

Shore joins the likes of Marshman, McGregor, Michael Bisping, Gegard Mousasi, Martin Kampmann, Dan Hardy, Rose Sexton, Antonio Silva and Dennis Siver as former Cage Warriors champions to make the jump to the UFC.