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  1. ITV Report

MMA World Champion: 'I think we deserve to be labelled as athletes'

The boy from Abertillery who became World Bantamweight MMA Champion.

Mixed Martial Arts claims to be the fastest growing sport in the world and Jack Shore from Abertillery says it's great to be the "frontrunner" of that trend.

The MMA World Bantamweight Champion defends his title later this month in Cardiff, but he's been defending his sport too, calling for competitors "to be labelled as athletes".

Jack Shore in training ahead of the big fight.

A blend of boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, and martial arts like jujitsu, MMA has attracted controversy for being too violent. But Jack, who trains in Blaina, says it's safer than a lot of other contact sports:

"There are doctors there before the fight to check you at the weigh in, as soon as you come out you've got to go straight to the medical room because you don't get paid until you've been examined".

"It's no more brutal than rugby or American football or even boxing".

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The welshman won his first title in Cardiff and is hoping to recreate that success when he takes on Scott Malone in the city on 27 April.

Ahead of his title defending fight, Jack has called for more recognition for his sport:

"I don't like the term fighters. I think we deserve to be labelled as athletes now rather than just fighters that get in a cage".

"We're professional athletes, professional sports people and it's time we get that recognition".