The leaves might be changing colour, but southern Alberta is about to heat up!
Rumble in the Cage, one of Canada’s original MMA promotions, is back for the first time in almost three years with Rumble in the Cage 63 this Saturday night in Lethbridge, Alta.
As always, the card features plenty of homegrown, hometown talent, including Lethbridge’s own Shannon Clark (0-0), who is set to face Edmonton, Alta.’s Jackie MacLean (3-1) in a women’s bantamweight contest.
Training out of the acclaimed Canadian Martial Arts Centre (CMC), Clark was undefeated as an amateur. She’ll look to keep the ball rolling heading into her professional debut against an experienced opponent in MacLean.
“I feel good. I’m a little nervous, but who wouldn’t be?” Clark said in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I’m matched up with a good opponent, so I think it’s going to really test me. Camp has been awesome. I’m working my butt off. I feel like I’m the best I can be right now, so if it’s not enough, well it’s not enough.”
A high-level athlete before she was a fighter, Clark’s physical attributes were key to her success as an amateur.
With a university soccer background, Clark takes pride in her ability to set the pace and keep coming forward.
“My cardio is the one thing for sure that my gym thinks I have over a lot of people,” Clark explained.
“I know how to push myself, even compared to a lot of the guys, so that’s the thing I’d say I’m definitely most confident in. I know what my times were on the track back in the day and I’m just constantly looking to improve.”
Although she’ll look to lean on her strength and her gas tank, Clark isn’t lacking in the technical department by any means. She’s also proven to have the grit to battle through whatever comes her way in the cage.
“If I had to pick one thing, I’d say it’s my striking. I’m aggressive and I’m willing to get punched. I kind of like getting punched, to be honest,” Clark said.
“It kind of fires me up and makes me want to get them back. Honestly, I try to control myself sometimes because I do push it and come out aggressive quite a bit. Most girls I know are more grapplers and they’re not big on getting into a brawl.”
Coming off two big TKO wins with Shaved Bears MMA as her home base, Clark’s upcoming opponent, MacLean, has put together a strong start to her professional career.
Aware and unfazed, Clark looks forward to the challenge.
“I know she’s a really strong wrestler and her last two fights she’s been successful with her ground and pound,” Clark said.
“She gets on top and she beats people up. It’s been working for her, so I don’t imagine she’ll switch things up. I don’t really work on specific things for her, but as I keep developing and getting better between each fight I have more tools to help me win. I’m aware of her strengths, but I don’t necessarily train differently because of them.”
It’s an exciting opportunity for Clark on Saturday night as she’s set for her professional debut right in her own backyard.
As always, her sights are firmly set on her upcoming opponent. It’s one fight at a time for the mother of two.
“I was born and raised here, so it’ll be nice to have the hometown crowd for sure. There will be lots of family and friends there. It’ll be motivation,” Clark said.
“At the same time it does add pressure, but, for me, I just do one at a time. I don’t know how far I want to go or where it’ll take me, so I just take it one at a time and it’s been working so far.”
“My family; couldn’t do it without the support of my husband or my dad. Shoutout to my coaches and everyone at CMC.” Follow Clark on social media: INSTAGRAM